Efforts continue to prevent Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan through the Chicago waterway system. The latest proposal under consideration by the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) is to install controls at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam near Joliet, Illinois. The ACOE is seeking public comments on this proposal originally identified as one of eight options outlined in the ACOE Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS) presented to Congress earlier this year.
The assistant secretary of the Army for civil works directed the ACOE to proceed with a formal evaluation of the viability of using the Brandon Road site as a point to prevent the upstream transfer of the carp and other aquatic nuisance species from the Mississippi River basin to the Great Lakes system. The site is downstream of the confluence of the Des Plaines River and the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, which leads into Lake Michigan. A one-way control point at Brandon Road would "minimize the likelihood" of invasive species drifting into the Great Lakes basin during a flood as well as minimize the chances of "adverse impacts to existing waterway uses and users," according to the ACOE.
The public comment period extends through January 17. The Corps will hold public meetings on the plan December 6 near Joliet and December 9 in Chicago, with webcast and call-in options available. Comments can be submitted at the meetings, online through the GLMRIS website or by conventional mail.
More information on GLMRIS is available at http://www.glmris.anl.gov.