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Durbin Speaks At Groundbreaking For Starved Rock Breakwater Project

March 5, 2024   The Waterways Journal

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U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) was guest of honor at a February 16 groundbreaking ceremony for the Starved Rock Breakwater Project, a habitat restoration effort led by the Corps of Engineers that is designed to restore submerged aquatic vegetation in the Starved Rock Pool of the Illinois River.


This is the third project within the Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP), for which Durbin helped secure $829 million in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). NESP is a long-term, dual-purpose program that will modernize locks and dams and restore the ecosystem in the Upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers.


“The Starved Rock Breakwater Project, achieved through collaboration among various stakeholders, will significantly enhance the Upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers’ ecosystem, benefiting both wildlife and local communities,” Durbin said. “With over 200 ecosystem restoration projects planned through NESP, we’re ensuring a sustainable future for our waterways while bolstering our economy.”


The Starved Rock Breakwater Project is designed to increase the amount and quality of resting and feeding habitat for migratory waterfowl and improve spawning and nursery habitat for native fish. The project will also create a riprap breakwater adjacent to the navigation channel between river Miles 233 and 234 to provide protection for aquatic vegetation, reduce wind and wave energy and benefit native fish species and waterfowl.