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Michigan, Illinois sign agreement to build Asian Carp barrier

Michigan, Illinois sign agreement to build Asian Carp barrier
January 8, 2021 Michigan Radio

 Lester GrahamMichigan Radio

The Great Lakes News Collaborative includes Bridge Michigan; Circle of Blue; Great Lakes Now at Detroit Public Television; and Michigan Radio, Michigan’s NPR News Leader; who work together to bring audiences news and information about the impact of climate change, pollution, and aging infrastructure on the Great Lakes and drinking water. This independent journalism is supported by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. Find all the work HERE.


Another barrier to keep Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes is about to enter the planning and design stage.

There are already electric barriers to stop Asian Carp. This new one will be more complex and the first line of defense.

This barrier is a joint project between Illinois, Michigan, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Michigan is contributing $8 million for planning the barrier. Combined with $2.5 million from Illinois, that covers 35% of the projected costs, with the federal government covering the rest for the planning phase. The total cost of the project is expect to approach $800 million.


Watch this Great Lakes Now segment on the carp problem:


It will take three to four years to design the barrier to be built at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam on the Des Plaines River near Joliet, Illinois. That river is part of a system of natural and manmade waterways linking the Mississippi River system to the Great Lakes.

It will use electric shocks, underwater sound, and air bubble curtains as well as other devices to allow river barge traffic to pass, but deter Asian Carp which have invaded the river system. See more about the plans here.

An electric barrier at Romeoville, just a few miles closer to Lake Michigan, was first built to stop the invasive round goby fish in the Great Lakes from getting into the Mississippi River system. That didn’t work. Since then, two more electric barriers at the same site have been built. A fourth one will be built there this year.

Biologists are concerned if the Asian Carp is not blocked, they would devastate fishing in the Great Lakes.


Catch more news on Asian carp on Great Lakes Now:

Carp Advance: Real and potential impacts of invasive fish throughout the Midwest

State Struggle: Budget shortfalls stall Asian carp plan, put cleanups at risk

Divide: Federal agencies, advocates differ on Asian carp strategy

Siege: Asian carp at the gates of the Great Lakes

Study: Asian carp could find plenty of food in Lake Michigan


Featured image: The National Wildlife Federation’s Drew YoungeDyke displays an Asian carp during the production of “Carp Advance,” a documentary film about the invasive fish. (Photo courtesy National Wildlife Federation)

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