Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the bipartisan Council of Great Lakes Governors came together to ask federal leaders to include funding for the Brandon Road Lock and Dam in the 2022 Water Resources Reform and Development Act to prevent a species of invasive carp from entering Michigan's water and protect key industries and tens of thousands of jobs.
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"The Great Lakes are the beating heart of Michigan's economy, and we are taking action to put Michigan first and protect the Great Lakes," said Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
"By funding the Brandon Road Lock and Dam, we can protect local economies and key, multi billion dollar industries that support tens of thousands of jobs including fishing and boating. I am proud that my fellow Great Lakes governors from both parties and I are coming together to continue uplifting our economies, build the Brandon Road Lock and Dam, and keep invasive carp out."
"Guarding the Great Lakes against the ravages of invasive carp is one of the most urgent tasks for those charged with protecting and managing Michigan's natural resources," said Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Dan Eichinger.
"The Brandon Road Lock and Dam marks a key pinch point for keeping these harmful species out of the lakes. This proposed funding will help secure a better future for the Great Lakes and for all those who cherish and depend upon them."
The Brandon Road Lock and Dam in Joliet, Ill., is a critical pinch point in the Chicago Area Waterways System for stopping invasive carp bighead and silver carp in particular from entering Lake Michigan.
The USACE and the State of Illinois signed a design agreement in 2021 to complete the PED. The process is estimated to cost $29 million and take 3 4 years, and Illinois and Michigan have committed to provide the 35% non federal cost share for this phase.
However, the remaining balance of the cost for design, construction, operation, and maintenance is beyond the capacity of the Great Lakes States to match. That's why the Great Lakes Governors are coming together to request that the federal government back this project and invest in the Great Lakes economy. ■