Durbin, Duckworth, Mayor Lightfoot, Members Of Chicago Delegation Announce $1.5 Million In Funding From Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal To Restore Chicago Shoreline
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, along with U.S. Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-09), Robin Kelly (D-IL-02), Mike Quigley (D-IL-05), and Marie Newman (D-IL-03) announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has allocated $1.5 million in funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) to the Chicago Shoreline Storm Damage Reduction Project. The funding will support ongoing efforts to restore the Chicago shoreline after coastal storm damage by completing the General Reevaluation Report needed to expand the project and mitigate the significant impacts of climate change on the shoreline.
Last month, the lawmakers sent a bicameral letter to the USACE urging them to invest in the project using funds provided in the IIJA.
“Lake Michigan is one of Chicago’s most valuable assets. As the shoreline continues to face environmental threats from extreme weather and erosion, it’s more important than ever that we take real steps toward protecting it. I’m heartened to see President Biden commit federal funding to expanding the shoreline project, revitalizing this area, and combatting climate change so that future generations of Illinoisans can continue to enjoy it,” said Durbin.
“We need to do everything we can to protect and restore the Great Lakes while protecting our beautiful shorelines, which countless Illinoisans enjoy every year,” Duckworth said. “I’m glad to work with the Illinois delegation to help the Chicago Shoreline Storm Damage Reduction Project and am proud to help announce this infusion of resources to help protect the city’s environment and push back against climate change.”
“Our city’s lakefront shoreline has tremendous environmental and recreational value for all of our residents and visitors to enjoy, but the damage caused by climate change and erosion requires action,” said Lightfoot. “I am thrilled the Army Corps of Engineers heard our call to action to fund the shoreline study which will be an important step in preserving our lakefront for generations to come."
“Chicago’s shoreline is a defining feature of our great community, but unfortunately, severe storms and varied lake levels in recent years have caused extensive damage that needs to be addressed. I hear from my constituents who live on or near the lakefront all the time about their concerns of the storm damage and threats to their properties,” Schakowsky said. “This funding is a critical step in the right direction, and the first step we need to comprehensively address the issue. I am grateful for the efforts of the Army Corps and my colleagues at all levels of government – we all want to see our great shoreline restored and usable by all.”
“As the effects of climate change and erosion continue to threaten one of our city's most valuable recreational and environmental assets, we must act now to repair existing damage and protect against further threats to the Lake Michigan Shoreline. I am thrilled that the Army Corps of Engineers has allocated $1.5 million to the Chicago Shoreline Storm Damage Reduction Project. This funding will allow us to determine the best course of action for protecting our shoreline south and north for generations to come,” said Kelly.
“In recent years, we’ve seen the harmful effects of climate change on the Chicago shoreline. I am pleased that the Army Corps of Engineers has heeded our call to give the shoreline the priority it deserves,” said Quigley. “Our lakefront is a precious part of the community here in Chicago and this investment will make significant strides in protecting and preserving it from the inevitable toll of climate change.”
"Over the past several years, countless homes, buildings and critical infrastructure along Chicago's lakefront have been battered and damaged by extreme weather and record?high rising lake levels," said Newman. "I applaud President Biden for not only recognizing the severity and urgency of these impacts of climate change but for also answering our request to invest $1.5 million in federal funding to ensure we can create long-term solutions that will further protect the infrastructure of the Chicago Shoreline and the residents surrounding it."
Over the last 20 years, Durbin has helped direct $185 million to the Chicago Shoreline project, which built structural reaches to protect Lake Shore Drive and the Chicago Shoreline. Given the increasing climate change impacts on the shoreline, a reevaluation of the project by the USACE is needed to determine how best to expand the shoreline project to additional sections of the lakeshore and protect against rising lake levels.
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