CHICAGO — Three million dollars in funding will be invested to protect Lake Michigan and its shoreline from climate change and invasive species.
Throughout the years, erosion, the impact of strong storms and rising water levels have started to wear on the shoreline. The federal government is investing $1.5 million in funding to protect Lake Michigan and the City of Chicago is matching it.
“Residents blocks away from the lake were seeing flooding in their basement. Parking garages blocks away from the lake were seeing the effect,” Mayor Lightfoot said. “So climate change is real and this an issue we must address head on and this investment will go a long way in making that happen.”
Climate change is not the only threat to the lake — Asian carp is as well.
“This is a long time coming this invasive species was introduced in Arkansas about 40 years ago and they’ve been moving up the Mississippi basin since then,” said Bill Foster.
If the invasive fish reaches Lake Michigan, it will impact fisheries and the ecological balance of the Great Lakes. The federal funds will help with a project meant to keep the Asian Carp out of the reason.
The money will also make it possible to complete a shoreline study. It will help the Army Corps of Engineers to determine what repairs, improvements and construction needs to be done.
“If it rolls, floats or flies, it goes through Chicago. So we got to do this right. And this is long overdue to put actual dollars toward that end. It’s not just for Chicago its for the region and for the country,” U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Chicago) said.
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Urgent repairs have been done along the shoreline, but the funds will allow for long-term solution to it and Lake Michigan, experts said. The study is expected to take three years to complete. At that time, a final report will be presented to Congress.