With new invasive carp money, the Great Lakes learns from past invasions

Read the full story from Bridge Michigan.

Operation Moss Ball hints at an evolution in recent years: Past catastrophes, like the mussel invasion that has transformed the Great Lakes since it began in the 1980s, have prompted state and federal lawmakers to tighten regulations and loosen purse strings to better prevent new invasions, rather than simply responding after-the-fact.

Put another way, “Once you get punched in the face a few times, you start to learn how to fight back,” said Joel Brammeier, president and CEO of the nonprofit water advocacy group Alliance for the Great Lakes. 

A big milestone in that process came in January: The U.S. Army Corps announced $226 million to complete design on the Brandon Road Interbasin Project project, an $858 million effort to keep carp downstream of Joliet, Illinois in the Des Plaines River — and out of the Great Lakes.

But Great Lakes advocates say more work is needed to close off other pathways for potential invasion, from Great Lakes freighters to recreational boats and online pet shops. 

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