Under a White Sky
In 1900, the city of Chicago completed a 45-kilometer-long canal that altered the hydrology of two-thirds of the United States.
That wasn’t the intention, of course. The plan was to reverse the flow of the Chicago River to divert waste away from the city’s source of drinking water: Lake Michigan. The engineering feat worked, but it also connected the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins, two of the world’s largest — and until then, isolated — freshwater ecosystems, allowing invasive species to pour through the opening and wreak ecological havoc.
Elizabeth Kolbert opens Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future
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