Michigan Congressional Delegation Tours Brandon Road Lock and Dam, Draws Attention to Critical Project that Will Protect Great Lakes from Asian Carp

Monday, July 01, 2019

Joliet, IL –Eleven Members of Michigan’s Congressional delegation today toured the Brandon Road Lock and Dam in Joliet, IL to highlight a critical project that will protect the Great Lakes from Asian carp. The Brandon Road Lock and Dam is a critical chokepoint in the Chicago waterway system. Last month, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finished a final plan, which will give Congress the ability to authorize and fund permanent solutions to keep Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes. Today’s visit gave Members an opportunity to tour the facility and see firsthand where recommended technologies and structural measures could be deployed to stop Asian carp. Members also discussed the collaboration and next steps needed by federal and state lawmakers and regulators to move this critical project forward.

Michigan Delegation at Brandon Road

Senator Stabenow, Congressman Upton, Senator Peters, Congressman Walberg, Congressman Kildee, Congresswoman Dingell, Congresswoman Lawrence, Congressman Moolenaar, Congressman Levin, Congresswoman Slotkin, and Congresswoman Stevens participated. Lt. General Todd Semonite, Chief of Engineers, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Dan Eichinger, Director, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Brigadier General Richard Neely, Adjutant General, Illinois National Guard; and Colleen Callahan, Director, Illinois Department of Natural Resources also participated.

“Our bipartisan delegation is fully committed to moving as quickly as possible with a permanent solution to stop Asian carp from devastating our Great Lakes,” said Senator Stabenow. “This was an important visit to see the project site firsthand and also meet with the Army Corps to discuss the next action items to get this project underway.”

“Having grown up on the shores of Lake Michigan, I know full well the beauty of the Great Lakes and the positive economic impact it has on our state,” said Congressman Upton. “Asian Carp threaten irreversible damages to our $43 billion fishing, boating, and tourism industries. They would ruin the Great Lakes for generations to come, so you can expect a bipartisan fight to secure the resources needed to keep Asian Carp from getting into our Great Lakes.”

“The Great Lakes are more than an environmental resource and economic driver for our state: they are simply part of who we are as Michiganders,” said Senator Peters. “I appreciated the opportunity to join my colleagues for a firsthand look at this project to help protect the Great Lakes from Asian Carp. Invasive species pose a serious threat to Michigan’s fisheries and waters, and I’m glad to have worked with the Michigan delegation to address this in a bipartisan way.”

“Protecting the Great Lakes ecosystem is a bipartisan priority we all share, and preventing the spread of Asian carp is at the top of the list,” said Congressman Walberg. “Being on the ground today, we discussed the path forward and witnessed the technological and barrier methods designed to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. It is imperative to Michigan’s economy and way of life that we get this project done without delay.”

“In Michigan, the Great Lakes propel our economy, support good-paying jobs and support our way of life. Republicans and Democrats in Michigan’s congressional delegation are committed to keeping our lakes healthy, clean and protected,” said Congressman Kildee. “Touring the Brandon Road Lock and Dam helped our bipartisan delegation learn more about the necessary steps that need to be taken to stop the threat of invasive species like Asian carp. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress and the Trump Administration on a permanent solution that stops invasive species from entering the Great Lakes.”

“If Asian carp are able to enter the Great Lakes they have the potential to decimate the waters. We know we have to harden this critical chokepoint for the long-term with aggressive measures and advanced technology,” said Congresswoman Dingell. “The meetings today are to visit the sites and receive briefings from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deal with the challenge. We must continue to work together in the Congress to determine our next actions, both at the federal and state levels, and to ensure this project receives the proper federal authorization and funding it needs to be completed without delay.”

“Asian carp have been caught less than 10 miles from Lake Michigan,” said Congressman Moolenaar. “This is an urgent issue for our state and today’s visit to Brandon Road helps us further understand what needs to be done to stop this threat to the Great Lakes. Working together we can save thousands of jobs in boating, fishing and tourism, and protect the Great Lakes for future generations.”

“Lawmakers across the Great Lakes region are united in a bipartisan way to protect our waterways from the environmental and economic threats posed by Asian carp,” said Congressman Levin. “Seeing and learning about the Brandon Road Lock and Dam today helps to inform our work advocating for solutions that preserve our Great Lakes fisheries and ecosystems.”

I'm so proud to stand alongside our bipartisan Michigan delegation today to send the signal that protecting our Great Lakes is not a partisan issue, it's our responsibility and it's a commitment we share," said Congresswoman Slotkin. "This visit drove home just how important it is to keep Asian carp out of our Great Lakes. It also laid out our next steps to move the Brandon Road project forward and protect our state's ecosystem, economy, and way of life.”

“Today’s visit was an important opportunity for the Michigan delegation to come together to learn more about the threat that Asian carp pose to our Great Lakes,” said Congresswoman Stevens. “We are determined to work in a bipartisan manner to deploy a comprehensive set of technological and structural tools to prevent Asian carp from devastating our state.

On May 23, 2019, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers signed the Chief’s Report for the Brandon Road project. In the report, the Army Corps laid out a suite of technologies and structural measures that can be put in place both now and in the future to prevent Asian carp from reaching Lake Michigan. These technologies include an engineered channel, air bubble curtain, acoustic fish deterrent, and electric barrier.