Restoring the Natural Divide

Separating the Great Lakes And Mississippi River Basins in the Chicago Area Waterway System

The Great Lakes Commission and the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, with support from six funders, embarked on a project in July 2010 to identify engineering options for Chicago’s waterway system that would prevent interbasin movement of aquatic invasive species (AIS), including Asian carp. The expedited study, now completed, also examines potential improvements to the waterway’s roles in commercial navigation, recreational boating, flood and stormwater management, and water quality.

The full study report, released in January 2012, and all associated materials are available at the Restoring the Natural Divide website. You can also view the Jan. 31, 2012 news release.

Since the release of the Restoring the Natural Divide report, the GLC and the Cities Initiative have continued to advance efforts related to separation of the Mississippi River and Great Lakes watersheds through ongoing communication and collaboration with stakeholders; carrying out additional technical analyses; conducting a study of financing options; identifying actions that can be taken in the near-term to enhance protection against Asian carp; and other efforts to build regional support for a path forward.

For more information on these efforts, please contact Matt Doss, Policy Director,, 734-971-9135.

Visit the Restoring the Natural Divide website


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