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 funding to restore Quincy Bay, one of the largest natural bays of the Upper Mississippi River. Durbin also discussed funding for the much needed modernization of seven locks along the Upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers.
“The environmental need for the restoration of Quincy Bay is obvious,” said Durbin. “Furthermore, the Navigation Ecosystem Restoration Program project, which will modernize seven locks along the Upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers, is vital to the agriculture and waterways industry in Illinois. 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 to move forward.”
A photo of the meeting is available here.
In today’s meeting, Durbin also discussed the importance of preventing the spread of Asian Carp to the Great Lakes by moving forward with the Brandon Road Lock and Dam project. The Army Corps has finalized its plan to prevent the spread of Asian Carp to the Great Lakes at the Brandon Road Lock in Joliet. The next step will be for the Army Corps to begin preconstruction, engineering, and design (PED) for the project.
Last year, Durbin included language in the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) Energy & Water appropriations bill, which was signed into law in December, directing the Army Corps to continue working with Quincy to prioritize the restoration of Quincy Bay, an important environmental restoration project. Quincy Bay has experienced severe sedimentation and land erosion that is impacting the area’s ecosystem.
Durbin also secured more than $10 million in funding in the FY20 Energy & Water appropriations bill for the Army Corps to begin preconstruction, engineering, and design of the Navigation Ecosystem Restoration Program (NESP). NESP is a five-state program that will expand and modernize seven locks at the most congested lock locations along the Upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers as well as fund $1.7 billion in ecosystem restoration. With more than 60 percent of our nation’s grain exports traveling through these Illinois locks, which were constructed more than 80 years ago, these locks are directly tied to the economy of both the state and the nation. NESP provides the opportunity to protect this infrastructure from catastrophic failure and address the health of the rivers’ ecosystems. Despite years of advocating by Durbin and a bipartisan coalition from the five Upper Mississippi states, NESP has repeatedly not been funded by the Trump Administration.
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