BUFFALO, NY --
All major work within the Grand River has been completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District of the Harpersfield Dam Sea Lamprey Barrier project located on the Grand River, in the town of Geneva, Ohio, with funding through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the non-federal partners.
In partnership with the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, Ashtabula County Metro Parks, and Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Buffalo District has completed construction of a 326 ft solid concrete sea lamprey barrier that replaced the old hollow core dam structure within the Harpersfield Covered Bridge Park.
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“This is great news for the city of Geneva, the Grand River and for Lake Erie,” said Rep. Dave Joyce (OH-14). “Not only will this project at Harpersfield Dam prevent the invasive lamprey from spreading approximately 600 miles upstream, it will also save hundreds of thousands of dollars. I thank the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for their tireless work to complete this project and will continue to lead the bipartisan effort in Congress to fully fund the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and help Northeast Ohio’s communities preserve our natural resources.”
“It is a critical time to invest in infrastructure, because it facilities economic growth, quality of life, and the environmental health of our Nation,” said LTC Jason Toth, USACE Buffalo District Commander. “Completion of the Harpersfield Sea Lamprey Barrier projects marks a major miles stone in protecting the ecosystem above the dam and of Lake Erie. Timely delivery of this project was possible because of the collective efforts from the project partners, support from elected officials, in kind work from Ashtabula County Metorparks, and funding through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.”
“The new Harpersfield sea lamprey control structure will help protect Lake Erie from the voracious sea lamprey for the next fifty to one-hundred years,” said Robert Lambe, executive secretary of the binational Great Lakes Fishery Commission. “The old structure, which was more than a century old, could have failed at any time, posing not only a human safety risk, but also a significant risk to the fishery. Sea lampreys are invasive and destructive, and without the new structure, the species would move into more than thirteen-hundred miles of prime sea lamprey spawning habitat and inflict hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to the Lake Erie fishery. The Commission is particularly grateful to the Ashtabula County Metroparks for the considerable in-kind support it provided for this project.”
This project will prevent the invasive sea lamprey from gaining access to approximately 600 miles upstream of the Harpersfield Dam on the Grand River and its tributaries. Additionally, it will prevent the need for lampricide treatments above the dam, saving approximately $335,000 per treatment and removing what could be a potentially lethal dosing to some non-target species. The project has the potential to lower the overall sea lamprey population in Lake Erie, which in turn improves the sustainability of valuable fisheries resources. In addition, from a public safety perspective the new barrier eliminates a submerged hydraulic jump, which created a drowning risk.
Final grading and restoration will continue through the summer and fall.
Additional photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/buffalousace/albums/72157654438619282
GLRI is a multi-agency initiative to restore the Great Lakes. GLRI funds are administered and distributed through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. For additional information about the GLRI program visit: http://www.lrb.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/GreatLakesRestorationInitiative.aspx.