Durbin Meets With Rock Island Army Corps Commander To Discuss Quincy Bay

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with Colonel Steven Sattinger, Commander and District Engineer of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District, to discuss the need to restore Quincy Bay, 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 this environmental restoration project. 

“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.  “I’ll continue to work with Colonel Sattinger and the Rock Island Corps to ensure Illinois’ key water infrastructure projects have the federal funding they need.”

A photo of the meeting is available here.

In today’s meeting, Durbin also discussed the need for continued federal investment in Illinois’ water infrastructure and flood risk management for the Upper Mississippi River region and the importance of preventing the spread of Asian Carp to the Great Lakes.

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 1980’s.  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.

Earlier this month, Durbin met with local officials and members of the Quincy Bay Area Restoration and Enhancement Association (QBAREA) to discuss the need to restore Quincy Bay.  In February, Durbin joined 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.