Members of Congress and Great Lakes advocacy groups are pressing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to strengthen defenses against Asian carp at a crucial choke point.
The Corps is considering a $275 million plan to bolster the Brandon Road Lock and Dam near Joliet, Illinois, with devices such as water jets and noisemakers to prevent the invasive fish from migrating from the Illinois River to Lake Michigan.
Environmental groups submitted 10,000 citizen letters supporting the plan Friday, the deadline for a public comment period. About 50 sporting and conservation organizations also endorsed it.
More than two dozen U.S. House members signed a letter urging the Corps to install the protections faster than the eight-year timeframe currently proposed.
Scientists say Asian carp could seriously harm native Great Lakes fish populations.