Monday, November 1, 2010

Officials Celebrate Completion Of Asian Carp Barricades

Oct 29: U.S. Representatives Judy Biggert and Daniel Lipinski, officials from the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the office of Senator Richard Durbin joined the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), U.S. EPA, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago; Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and Cook, DuPage and Will counties at a ribbon cutting to mark the completion of barricades along the Des Plaines River and I&M Canal. The project was designed and constructed by the US Army Corps of Engineers and funded through the U.S. Army Environmental Protection Agency as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
    The measures are intended to reduce the risk of Asian carp being swept from the Des Plaines River and I&M Canal into the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal (CSSC) during heavy rains and flooding. The Des Plaines River barricade, a project completed on time and under budget, consists of concrete barriers and a specially fabricated wire mesh that allows water to flow through the fence but prevents the passage of fish. The fence extends approximately 13 miles from Romeoville, IL to Willow Springs, IL. The completion of this project marks yet another milestone met in the framework laid out by the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC).
    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been operating a system of electric barriers near Romeoville, IL to prevent invasive species, including Asian carp, from migrating into Lake Michigan via the CSSC. The Water Resources Development Act of 2007 directed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to maximize the effectiveness of the barrier system by conducting a study of a range factors that could potentially reduce the efficacy of the Electrical Dispersal Barriers. The first report USACE completed under this authority identified areas of potential bypass upstream of the electric barriers during flooding and recommended construction of this barricade along the Des Plaines River, along with a stone blockage in the I&M Canal.
    Colonel Vincent Quarles, commander, USACE Chicago District said, "Construction of these measures is crucial to reducing the risk of Asian carp bypassing the barriers. The electric barriers focus on the largest, most direct, pathway. Now, we have measures in place to reduce the possibility of Asian carp entering the CSSC via those flanking waterways."
    Access a release with further details from the ACRCC (click here). Access the ACRCC website for additional information (click here).

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