Durbin Continues To Push For Quincy Bay Restoration Project

QUINCY – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today joined local officials and members of the Quincy Bay Area Restoration and Enhancement Association (QBAREA) to discuss the need to restore one of the largest natural bays of the Upper Mississippi River. Last month, Durbin included language in the Senate FY2020 Energy & Water appropriations bill directing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to continue working with Quincy to prioritize the environmental restoration project at Quincy Bay.

“The environmental need for the restoration of Quincy Bay is obvious. Eighty years of river traffic has brought sediment, silt, and a significant loss of water volume,” said Durbin. “The project has enjoyed broad support among a variety of local stakeholders and I will continue to push for federal investment in Illinois’ key water infrastructure projects.”

Current Quincy Bay water depths have reached one to three feet with a more than 70 percent loss in water volume during the past 80 years. With proper funding through the USACE, Quincy Bay would be dredged to 10-foot depths and a rock dam would be built to prevent further erosion from river traffic. Topological improvements would also be made, including island elevation and wildlife habitat restoration for fish and waterfowl.

The need for remediation in Quincy Bay has been recognized since the 1980s. Local and state partners are working together to submit an application to the USACE so that the next steps in the process can be completed efficiently and the project can be selected for further study.

In March, Durbin met with the Rock Island Army Corps Commander to discuss Illinois infrastructure priorities and he pressed the Army Corps regarding funding for the Upper Mississippi River Restoration (UMRR) program to restore Quincy Bay. In February, Durbin joined U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL-18) in sending a letter to the Corps requesting $20 million for Quincy Bay.