The Calumet River refers to a system of heavily industrialized rivers and canals in the region around neighborhood of South Chicago in Chicago, Illinois and the city of Gary, Indiana. "Riverine" redirects here For the use of that term in Maritime geography, see there History Once a separate community South Chicago began as a series of scattered Native American settlements before becoming a village Chicago (ʃɪˈkɑːgoʊ is the largest City by population in the state of Illinois and the American Midwest of the United States.
The name "Calumet" refers to the calumet, an elaborate pipe that served as a universal sign of peace among the Illiniwek, and which was presented to Pere Marquette in 1673. A peace pipe, also called a calumet or medicine pipe, is a ceremonial Smoking pipe used by many Native American tribes traditionally as a token The Illiniwek (also known as the Illini, Illinois Confederacy) were a group of six Native American Tribes in the upper Mississippi River Father Jacques Marquette ( June 1, 1637 &ndash May 18, 1675) was a French Missionary who founded Michigan
The area is extremely flat and the course and even the direction of the river system has changed repeatedly. The low gradient gives the river only a very small current. Before human alteration, water flowed westward from LaPorte County, Indiana along the Little Calumet River, made a complete turn, and flowed east along the Grand Calumet into Lake Michigan at the Miller section of Gary, Indiana. La Porte County is a county located in the US state of Indiana. Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America, and the only one located entirely within the United States.
Industrial development in the Calumet River area began around the 1870s, and by 1890 the West reach of the Grand Calumet River was heavily polluted with the waste of steel mills, foundries, a meat packing plant, and glue and cornstarch factories. Steel Mill was one of Bruce Springsteen 's early bands and performed regularly on the Jersey Shore, in Virginia, and also in California from 1969 A foundry is a Factory which produces Metal Castings from either Ferrous or non-ferrous alloys The meat packing industry is an Industry that handles the slaughtering, Processing and distribution of animals such as Cattle Industry continued to spread along the East reach of the river between 1890 and 1910, with similar results. These decades of unrestricted pollution have left the river sediments highly contaminated to this day. 
The Calumet River, on the south side of Chicago, originally simply drained Lake Calumet to Lake Michigan. Chicago (ʃɪˈkɑːgoʊ is the largest City by population in the state of Illinois and the American Midwest of the United States. Lake Calumet is the largest body of water within the city of Chicago. A canal extending it, legendarily claimed to have been created by voyageurs at the site of a frequent portage, was dug connecting the two Calumet Rivers at the point where the name now changes from Grand to Little.
The Grand Calumet River, originating in the east end of Gary, Indiana, flows 13 miles (21 km) through the cities of Gary, East Chicago and Hammond. East Chicago is a city in Lake County, Indiana, opposite Chicago, Illinois. Hammond (ˈhæmənd is a city in Lake County, Indiana, United States. The majority of the river's flow drains into Lake Michigan via the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal, sending about 1,500 cubic feet per second (44 m³/s) of water into the lake. Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America, and the only one located entirely within the United States. The Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal is an artificial waterway on the southwest shore of Lake Michigan, in East Chicago Indiana which connects the Grand Today, a large portion of the river's flow originates as municipal and industrial effluent, cooling and process water and storm water overflows. Effluent is an outflowing of water from a natural body of water or from a man-made structure Although discharges have been reduced, a number of contaminants continue to impair the area.
The Little Calumet River flows through or borders the towns of Blue Island, Illinois, Dixmoor, Phoenix, Riverdale, Harvey, Calumet City, Lansing, Dolton, South Holland in Illinois and Hammond, Munster, Griffith, Highland, Gary, and Lake Station in Indiana. Dixmoor (formerly Specialville) is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. Phoenix is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. Riverdale is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. Harvey is a Chicago area city in Cook County, Illinois, United States. Calumet City is a city in Cook County, Illinois, United States. Lansing is a village in Cook County, Illinois, USA. Lansing is a southern Suburb of Chicago. Dolton (pronounced "DAWL-ton" is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. South Holland is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. Hammond (ˈhæmənd is a city in Lake County, Indiana, United States. Munster is a town in North Township, Lake County, in northwestern Indiana in the United States. Griffith is a town in Calumet and St John townships Lake County, Indiana. Highland is a town in Lake County, Indiana, United States. The population was 23546 at the 2000 census Lake Station is a city in Lake County, Indiana, United States. The Little Calumet flows into the Calumet River and Cal-Sag Canal. The Little Calumet has 109 miles of river and tributaries and drains 213 square miles. 
The Little Calumet River has been undergoing construction of a $200 million flood control and recreation project by the Chicago District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers since 1990. The United States Army Corps of Engineers ( USACE) is a federal agency and a major Army command made up of some 34600 Civilian and 650 Military personnel The project is expected to be complete in 2010. The project includes construction of 22 miles of levees and floodwalls, a control structure at Hart Ditch, and almost 17 miles of hiking trails. Dike (constructionEmbankmentA levee, levée, dike (or dyke) embankment, floodbank or stopbank is a natural or artificial A flood wall (or floodwall) is a man-made primarily vertical barrier designed to temporarily contain the waters of a River Additionally, seven miles of the river channel is being relocated to allow better water flow, and highway bridges are being modified to permit unobstructed flow of water. A flood warning system is also being implemented. When complete, the project will protect over 9,500 homes and businesses in the towns of Gary, Griffith, Hammond, and Munster in Indiana, and prevent nearly $11 million in flood damage annually. 
The Cal-Sag Channel (short for "Calumet Sag Channel") is a navigation canal in southern Cook County, Illinois. Canals are artificial channels for water There are two types of canals water conveyance canals which are used for the conveyance and delivery of water and Waterways Cook County is a county in the US state of Illinois. It is the second most populous county in the United States after Los Angeles The State of Illinois ( roughly ill-i-NOY is a state of the United States of America, the 21st to be admitted to the Union. It serves as a channel between the Little Calumet River and the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. The Calumet River refers to a system of heavily industrialized Rivers and canals in the region between the neighborhood of South Chicago in Chicago Illinois The Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, historically known as the Chicago Drainage Canal, is the only shipping link between the Great Lakes (specifically Lake It is 16 miles (26 km) long and was dug over an 11-year period, from 1911 until 1922.
The Cal-Sag Channel serves barge traffic in what was an active zone of heavy industry in the far southern neighborhoods of the city of Chicago, Illinois and adjacent suburbs. Heavy industry does not have a single fixed meaning as compared to Light industry. Chicago (ʃɪˈkɑːgoʊ is the largest City by population in the state of Illinois and the American Midwest of the United States. As of 2006 it is also used more as a conduit for wastewater from southern Cook County, including the Chicago-area Deep Tunnel Project, into the Illinois Waterway. The Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (abbreviated TARP and more commonly known as the Deep Tunnel Project or the Chicago Deep Tunnel) is a large Civil The Illinois Waterway system consists of 336 miles of water from the mouth of the Chicago River to the mouth of the Illinois River at Grafton, Illinois It is also used by pleasure crafts in the summer time.
The western 4. 5 miles (7. 3 km) of the channel flow through the Palos Hills Forest Preserves, a large area of parkland operated by Cook County Forest Preserve District. The Cook County Forest Preserves are a network of open spaces containing Forest, Prairie, Wetland, Streams and Lakes that are set
Suffering from over a century of environmental neglect, The Grand Calumet River is highly polluted. Historically, the Grand Calumet River supported highly diverse, globally unique fish and wildlife communities. Today, remnants of this diversity are found in the Gibson Woods and Pine nature preserves. These areas contain tracks of dune and swale topography and associated rare plant and animals species, such as Franklin's ground squirrel, Blanding's turtle, the glass lizard and the Black-crowned Night Heron, among others. In physical Geography, a dune is a Hill of Sand built by Aeolian processes. Franklin's Ground Squirrel ( Spermophilus franklinii) is a species native to tallgrass American Prairie, from Canada to the northcentral United States The Blanding's Turtle ( Emydoidea blandingii) is a Species of semi-aquatic Turtle. The glass lizards or glass snakes, Genus Ophisaurus, are a group of reptiles that resemble Snakes but are actually Lizards The Black-crowned Night Heron (or just Night Heron in Eurasia ( Nycticorax nycticorax) is a medium-sized Heron. The problems mentioned above, however, have greatly impared the river. It has been listed as one of the 43 Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AoC) since 1986. Great Lakes Areas of Concern are designated geographic areas within the Great Lakes Basin that show severe environmental degradation AoC's are designated by having an impairment in at least one of fourteen beneficial uses. Great Lakes Areas of Concern are designated geographic areas within the Great Lakes Basin that show severe environmental degradation The Grand Calumet is the only AoC to be impaired on all fourteen. These impairments include total fish consumption restrictions, beach closings, fish tumors or deformities, animal deformities or reproductive problems, and loss or degradation of fish and wildlife habitat, benthos, phytoplankton, and zooplankton populations, among others. See also Cancer A tumor or tumour is the name for a swelling or lesion formed by an abnormal growth of cells (termed neoplastic Benthos are the organisms which live on in or near the Seabed, also known as the Benthic zone. Phytoplankton are the Autotrophic component of the Plankton community Zooplankton are the Heterotrophic (sometimes detritivorous) type of Plankton.
The largest extent of the river's impairment comes from the historical sediment contamination by the industrial activities already mentioned. Today, sediments on the river bottom are "among the most contaminated and toxic that have ever been reported. "  Only sludge worms inhabit the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal, indicating that severe pollution exists. Tubifex tubifex also called the sludge worm, sewage worm or lime snake; is a Species of tubificid Segmented The Grand Calumet suffers from contamination from polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heavy metals, such as mercury, cadmium, chromium and lead. Polychlorinated biphenyls ( PCB s are a class of Organic compounds with 1 to 10 Chlorine atoms attached to Biphenyl which is a molecule composed Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons ( PAH s are Chemical compounds that consist of fused Aromatic rings and do not contain Heteroatoms or Mercury (ˈmɜrkjʊri also called quicksilver or hydrargyrum, is a Chemical element with the symbol Hg ( Latinized hydrargyrum Cadmium (ˈkædmiəm is a Chemical element with the symbol Cd and Atomic number 48 Chromium (ˈkroʊmiəm is a Chemical element which has the symbol Cr and Atomic number 24 Characteristics Lead has a dull luster and is a dense, Ductile, very soft highly Additional problems include high fecal coliform bacteria levels, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and suspended solids, oil and grease. Fecal coliforms (sometimes faecal coliforms) are facultatively-anaerobic, rod-shaped, Gram-negative, non-sporulating Bacteria. Biochemical Oxygen Demand or Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD is a chemical procedure for determining how fast biological organisms use up oxygen in a body of water These contaminants originate from both point and nonpoint sources. Nonpoint source (NPS pollution is Water pollution affecting a water body from diffuse sources rather than a point source which discharges to a water body at a single