Durbin Discusses Quincy Bay Restoration, Modernization Of Illinois Locks And Dams, And Protecting The Great Lakes From Invasive Species With Rock Island Army Corp District Commander

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) received an update today from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Rock Island District Commander Colonel Jesse Curry about several Illinois water infrastructure projects including the restoration of Quincy Bay, the Brandon Road project to protect the Great Lakes from the spread of invasive Asian Carp, and the modernization of Illinois locks and dams through the Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP).


“Illinois’ water infrastructure is an essential component of our state’s economy. With the millions coming into Illinois from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, I hope to see our locks, dams, and shorelines revitalized,” said Durbin. “I had a productive discussion with Colonel Curry today about bringing several projects, including the Quincy Bay Restoration Project, to fruition.”


During the virtual meeting, Durbin pushed the Corps to accelerate the Quincy Bay Restoration Project, which aims to reverse the impact of sedimentation and erosion at Quincy Bay to improve ecosystems, waterways for boaters, and recreation.  Durbin previously secured funding for the project through the Upper Mississippi River Restoration (UMRR) program.  This week, Durbin secured $33 million in funding for the UMRR program in the Fiscal Year 2022 omnibus appropriations bill.


Durbin and Colonel Curry spoke about the $829 million federal funding allocated to Illinois through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) for the Navigation Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP), a first-of-its-kind Corps program that will expand and modernize seven Illinois locks at the most congested lock locations along the Upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, fund nearly $2 billion in ecosystem restoration, allow Illinois agriculture to better compete globally, and create thousands of jobs.  This week, Durbin secured an additional $45 million in funding for NESP in the Fiscal Year 2022 omnibus appropriations bill.


Durbin also spoke with the Corps about how $225.8 million in federal funding allocated to Illinois through the IIJA will help advance the Brandon Road project in Joliet to prevent invasive Asian Carp from reaching the Great Lakes.


 A photo of the virtual meeting is available here.