Oct 29

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Going Against the Flow

Restoring the original flow of the Chicago River could be the best way to keep invasive Asian carp out of the Great Lakes—listen up for the scoop:

Chicago’s going against the flow…again. More than a century ago, the direction of the Chicago River was reversed to move the city’s wastewater away from Lake Michigan. The river has since flowed into a canal instead, and then on to the Mississippi.

Joel Brammeier Asian carp meeting

The Alliance’s Joel Brammeier gives the lowdown on the threat of Asian carp. (Lloyd DeGrane/Alliance for the Great Lakes)

So, what’s the big deal? Joel Brammeier of the Alliance for the Great Lakes explains the consequences like so: “You can actually have fish swim back and forth between the Great Lakes and Mississippi river in a way that they never could in a natural environment.”

And as a result, he explains, giant Asian carp could invade the lakes and change the ecosystem.

Blocking off the canal and restoring the original flow of the Chicago River would reduce the threat. But first, the city must improve water quality so pollution isn’t carried from the river to the lake.

Hear More:

Listen to Joel Brammeier talk about the interactions between invasive species, Chicago’s waterways, and people – and the way these interactions affects carp solutions.

Get schooled:

The fine print:



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