Policy Watch

Keeping out carp

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With new funding and approvals, planning and design is moving forward on a long-envisioned, comprehensive project to help block invasive Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes.

Illinois and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently signed an agreement for the Brandon Road Lock and Dam project along the Illinois and Des Plaines rivers southwest of Chicago, after Congress approved the project last year.

The site near Joliet is a critical pinch point for keeping voracious bighead, silver and black carp out of the lakes. The plan includes layered technologies including an electric barrier, underwater sound, an air bubble curtain and a flushing lock in a newly engineered channel designed to turn back carp while allowing barges through.

Michigan has agreed to provide $8 million of the approximately $10 million non-federal cost share of this phase of the project. The Illinois and Michigan governors have agreed to work jointly to solve the serious environmental threat. A number of Joyce grantees were instrumental in the research, analysis and advocacy behind the barrier project.

About The Joyce Foundation

Joyce is a nonpartisan, private foundation that invests in evidence-informed public policies and strategies to advance racial equity and economic mobility for the next generation in the Great Lakes region.

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