Durbin Visits Quincy Bay, Discusses Restoration Project

QUINCY – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today visited Quincy Bay, one of the largest natural bays of the Upper Mississippi River, to discuss its restoration project. This project aims to reverse the impact of sedimentation and erosion at Quincy Bay to improve the quality and diversity of waterfowl, fish, and wildlife populations, aquatic and forest habitat, and other ecologically significant features such as water depth and wetlands.Durbin pushed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to include the project as part of the Upper Mississippi River Restoration (UMRR) Program, resulting in the current feasibility study which began last year and will be completed in 2024. Durbin will continue to work to secure funding for the UMRR program to ensure the Quincy Bay project moves forward.

“Eighty years of river traffic has brought sediment, silt, and a significant loss of water volume to Quincy Bay, making the environmental need for this restoration project very clear,” said Durbin. “Restoring Illinois’ waterway ecosystems are an essential component of our state’s environmental diversity, and I’ll keep pushing for federal investments to make sure these critical projects have the funding they need.”

Quincy Bay has experienced severe sedimentation and land erosion that is impacting the area’s ecosystem, including more than 70 percent loss in water volume during the past 80 years. This restoration project will dredge Quincy Bay to 10-foot depths. A rock dam will be built to prevent further erosion from river traffic and topological improvements, such as island elevation and wildlife habitat restoration.

In July, Durbin secured several key Illinois priorities in the Senate-passed Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), including an increase in the funding limit for the UMRR Program from $40 million to $75 million. The additional $35 million—if appropriated—would help ensure the full completion of UMRR projects like the restoration of Quincy Bay.  Durbin also helped secure $33 million for UMRR in the FY22 Omnibus.