Durbin Pushes Trump Administration To Address Climate Change Impacts On Lake Michigan

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today spoke to Assistant Secretary of the Army (ASA) for Civil Works R.D. James, who oversees the Army Corps, to urge the Corps to provide federal funding for two projects that will protect the Chicago Shoreline from the impacts of climate change.  The Trump Administration has yet to fully fund the Great Lakes Resiliency Study authorized by Congress and or provide increased funding to reevaluate and expand the Chicago Shoreline project.

“We face perhaps the toughest test yet in protecting Lake Michigan and the Chicago Shoreline from the impacts of climate change. It will be absolutely critical for strong federal investments and a commitment to maintain the infrastructure for future generations of Illinoisans to enjoy,” Durbin said.

The Great Lakes Resiliency Study, which Durbin secured authorization for in the 2018 Water Resource and Development bill, would map out a plan to manage and protect 5,200 miles of Great Lakes coastline.  The Trump Administration has not provided the funding needed to start the study. Durbin recently sent a letter with a bipartisan group of Great Lakes Senators pushing the Corps to fund the study. 

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 Corps is needed to determine how best to expand the shoreline project to additional sections of the lakeshore and protect against rising lake levels.  Durbin recently sent a letter along with Sen. Duckworth and Reps. Schakowsky, Rush, Davis, Quigley, and Kelly pushing the Corps to provide funds to initiate a reevaluation of the project.