Gov. Rick Snyder creates interstate partnership to protect Great Lakes from Asian carp
On Wednesday, Gov. Rick Snyder announced an interstate partnership with leaders of the Great Lakes states to reduce the risk of invasive carp from entering the Great Lakes by strengthening defenses in a Chicago-area waterway. Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Ontario are the founding members of the partnership, representing more than 90% of the Great Lakes surface area.
The initiative contributes to reducing costs of upgrading the Brand Road Lock and Dam near Joliet, Illinois, a key choke point between the carp-infested Illinois River and Lake Michigan.
“Michigan is stepping up to take a leadership role due to the urgency of this situation and the efforts necessary to prevent the entry of Asian carp into the Great Lakes,” Snyder said in a statement.
Experts say the entrance of invasive carp would irreparably damage the Great Lakes ecosystem, the $7 billion fishery and other economic interests dependent on the Great Lakes. An estimated $8 million is needed annually to provide the nonfederal share of funding to operate and maintain the improved system.
The Army Corps says it could begin construction on a $275 million federally funded invasive carp barrier improvement project in 2022 at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam with the system becoming operational by 2025. The plan incorporates a suite of technologies, including a complex noise system to keep fish out of the channel, and state-of-the-art electric barriers at the lock’s entrances.