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Army Corps of Engineers releases plan to stop Asian carp invasion of Great Lakes

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last week released The Great Lakes Mississippi River Interbasin Study – Brandon Road Final Integrated Feasibility Study and Environmental Impact Statement (GLMRIS-Brandon Road Report and EIS). The report includes a plan to prevent aquatic nuisance species, such as Asian carp, from moving from the Mississippi River basin to the Great Lakes basin through the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS), according to a statement from the Corps.

The Corps said it will work with the state of Illinois and all “Great Lakes stakeholders” to ensure that “an implementable and sustainable plan” results from the study. It plans to submit the final report to the Chief of Engineers for approval by February 2019.

The NMMA has worked closely with the Corps during this period to make sure the study and proposed solutions addressed the industry’s “AIS concerns,” according to a story in today’s NMMA Currents.

The report recommends that sound barriers, an electric fence and air-bubble curtains be installed around the Brandon Road Lock and Dam in Joliet, Illinois, to prevent Asian carp from crossing into Lake Michigan. The plan also recommends the construction of a concrete channel in the lock to increase effectiveness of other fish controls, while allowing for testing of new technologies.

In 2017, an Asian carp was found in the Little Calumet River, nine miles outside of Lake Michigan. If Asian carp were to infiltrate the Great Lakes, it would be detrimental to the boating industry and local economy. NMMA said it remains committed to stopping the spread of aquatic invasive species. It will continue working with the Corp to implement the plan.

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