Re-Envisioning the Chicago River
Adopting Comprehensive Regional Solutions to the Invasive Species Crisis
In response to a public health emergency more than 100 years ago, engineers reversed the Chicago River and built the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal to carry wastewater away from Lake Michigan, the city’s source of drinking water. The canal also provides a shipping link between the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes, opening navigation not only to recreational boats and commercial barges, but also to invasive species, and it diverts massive amounts of water from Lake Michigan. The unfolding Asian carp crisis reveals more than just the challenges faced by local, state, and federal agencies in stopping invasive species from entering the Great Lakes. It also exposes critical infrastructure deficiencies in the region’s wastewater, stormwater, and transportation systems.
last revised 10/4/2010
Get Updates and Alerts
Water on Switchboard
NRDC experts write about water efficiency, green infrastructure and climate on the NRDC blog.
Recent Water Posts
- Save Our Arctic and Atlantic Waters Now
- posted by Rhea Suh, 2/4/16
- Soil Should Be the Foundation of Food, Water, and Energy Policy
- posted by Lara Bryant, 2/1/16
- New Guidelines Will Help Make Water Infrastructure Projects More Resilient
- posted by Ben Chou, 1/27/16
NRDC Gets Top Ratings from the Charity Watchdogs
- Charity Navigator awards NRDC its 4-star top rating.
- Worth magazine named NRDC one of America's 100 best charities.
- NRDC meets the highest standards of the Wise Giving Alliance of the Better Business Bureau.