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Governor Whitmer Calls for Full Funding of Brandon Road Lock and Dam to Prevent Invasive Carp in Great Lakes


December 10, 2021 


Governor Whitmer Calls for Full Funding of Brandon Road Lock and Dam to Prevent Invasive Carp in Great Lakes 

Governor and bipartisan group of Great Lakes governors sends letter urging federal leaders to fund Brandon Road in Water Resources Reform and Development Act to stop carp, protect Michigan jobs 

LANSING, Mich. - Today, 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.  

"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."  

Read the full letter here. 

Brandon Road Background 

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 State of Michigan continues to lead efforts with partner organizations and governments to add safeguards at Brandon Road that will prevent these fish from doing untold harm to the economy and ecology of the Great Lakes. 

The federal government through prior legislative and agency actions has already recognized the importance of stopping the introduction and spread of invasive carp.?The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) submitted a Chief's Report to Congress with a plan of action at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam to prevent invasive carp from entering the Great Lakes.  Subsequently, Congress authorized the construction of the Brandon Road Project in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) with a $858,047,000 price tag.  

The Great Lakes Governors and Premiers have already demonstrated their shared commitment to preventing the introduction of invasive carp into the Great Lakes.  

Governor Whitmer and Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker agreed to work jointly to protect the Great Lakes from invasive carp species in January 2021, announcing an intergovernmental agreement between the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) allowing Illinois to use up to $8 million in funds appropriated in 2018 by the Michigan Legislature as nonfederal match to support the pre-construction engineering and design (PED) phase of the Brandon Road Ecosystem Interbasin Project.?  

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. The governors support the inclusion of full federal funding for the remaining design, construction, operation, and maintenance of the Brandon Road Lock and Dam Project in the 2022 Water Resources Reform and Development Act.?  

For more information on the Brandon Road Interbasin Project: