The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Buffalo District has received approval for the Harpersfield Dam Ecosystem Restoration project Final Detailed Project Report and Environmental Assessment from the USACE Great Lakes and Ohio Rivers Division, December 8, 2015.
This marks a milestone in the project and allows the Buffalo District project delivery team to further design and refine the project’s plans.
The goal of the project is to prevent sea lamprey passage and reproduction from approximately 1,266 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.
“This project is a fine example how local, state, and Federal partners can productively collaborate and cooperate in the interest of enhancing our natural environment,” said LTC Karl Jansen, USACE Buffalo District commander. “Once completed, this project will block invasive sea lamprey spawning migration to the benefit of the Grand River watershed and the Great Lakes; protecting these precious natural resources also contributes to a stronger economy and ultimately our National security.”
“The Harpersfield project is integral to sea lamprey control in the region,” said Robert Lambe, executive secretary of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. “The Lake Erie fishery is worth more than a $1 billion annually to the people of Canada and the United States and sea lamprey control is the foundation of that value. I commend and thank all those involved in moving this project forward. The fish, the economy, and the ecosystem are the winners.”
"The Board of Commissioners of the Ashtabula County Metroparks thanks the Army Corps of Engineers at Buffalo, N.Y. lead by Project Management Team Leader, Ken Podsiadlo and the United States Fish and Wildlife representative, Jessica Barber for their cooperation in this Harpersfield Sea Lamprey Barrier project,” said Charles Kohli, Vice President, Board of Commissioners, Ashtabula County Metroparks. “Many thanks also go out to the many agencies and organizations who have gotten us to this point. We look forward to continued cooperation for the completion of this project."
The study team plans on completing the engineering and design phase by the beginning 2017 and completing construction by the end of 2018.