The May 30 UMRR Annual Meeting focused on Chicago's Impacts on the Mississippi. Our speakers were Debra Shore and Kelly McGinnis - their talks were illuminating, insightful and inspiring.
In the Mississippi Basin, Chicago is the big dog – the largest population center in the basin. The more than nine million people of the Chicago area get drinking water from Lake Michigan but discharge wastewater into the Illinois River.
The map below shows the Illinois River and its footprint across the Chicago metropolitan area. Compare this to the population density map from the Census Bureau, showing 2011 population density. The Minneapolis area is the next largest metro area in the Mississippi Basin with about three million people, a third of the population of the Chicago area.
The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Chicago is responsible for treating wastewater, you can read more about this organization on their website here: https://mwrd.org/about . Our first speaker, Debra Shore, talked about how Chicago strives to reduce pollution that flows into the Mississippi River, as well as, speaking to her role as Commissioner and the role of the MWRD. Debra even explained the complicated hydrology of the Chicago area and how the Chicago River's flow was reversed to send wastes west to the Mississippi while protecting the city's water supply in Lake Michigan.
Our second speaker was also Chicago-based. Kelly McGinnis discussed how we can support and lead advocacy in efforts to decrease pollution in the Mississippi River. Kelly is the Executive Director of the Mississippi River Network. The Mississippi River Network is a network of 57 organizations in the Mississippi Basin, working together to protect the land, water, wildlife, and people of the United States’ greatest River. The three areas where the MRN is providing education is on reducing nutrient pollution, protecting floodplains and wetlands, and promoting farm bill conservation programs. Read more about the MRN at on their website at http://1mississippi.org/aboutus/#network. LWV UMRR is a proud member of the MRN.
The videos of the talks follow - click "Read More" following the videos for speaker bios.
|LWV Upper Mississippi River Region||