Back in the 19th century, Chicago had a problem: Its river went the wrong way, washing sewage into its drinking water supply in Lake Michigan, spreading diseases like cholera and dysentery. The solution sounded crazy: turn the river around.
Editor's note: This story was produced by Interlochen Public Radio.For twenty years now state and federal governments have been trying to restore wild lake trout in Lake Michigan. Lake trout are native to the Great Lakes and were once the big game fish in all the lakes.
Kate Davidson recently reported on the Great Lakes dredging backlog for Front and Center. Click through the slideshow below to meet some of the people affected by sediment buildup in regional shipping channels.
A lot of people are worried about Asian carp swimming into the Great Lakes. We know from experience how bad an invasive species can be. Sea lamprey devastated the Great Lakes fishery in the 1940s and 50s, and they still kill a lot of fish.Sea lamprey are native to the Atlantic Ocean.
Shipping may seem an outdated mode of transportation, but it's still by far the most efficient way to transport bulk material. Each year, over 100 million tons of iron ore, coal, limestone and other products travel through the Great Lakes navigation system by boat. Last November, radio producer Allison Swaim spent nine days aboard a bulk ore ship called the Calumet.