The Illinois River is a principal tributary of the Mississippi River 273 miles long, in the U. S. state of Illinois. The river drains a large section of central Illinois, with a drainage basin of 28,756.6 square miles. The drainage basin extends into Wisconsin, a small area of southwestern Michigan; this river was important among Native Americans and early French traders as the principal water route connecting the Great Lakes with the Mississippi. The French colonial settlements along the rivers formed the heart of the area known as the Illinois Country. After the construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal and the Hennepin Canal in the 19th century, the role of the river as link between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi was extended into the era of modern industrial shipping, it now forms the basis for the Illinois Waterway. The Illinois River is formed by the confluence of the Kankakee River and the Des Plaines River in eastern Grundy County 10 miles southwest of Joliet; this river flows west across northern Illinois, passing Morris and Ottawa, where it is joined by the Mazon River and Fox River.
At LaSalle, the Illinois River is joined by the Vermilion River, it flows west past Peru, Spring Valley. In southeastern Bureau County it turns south at an area known as the "Great Bend", flowing southwest across western Illinois, past Lacon and downtown Peoria, the chief city on the river. South of Peoria, the Illinois River goes by East Peoria and Creve Coeur, Pekin, Illinois, in Tazewell County, Illinois, it is joined by the Mackinaw River and passes through the Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge. Across from Havana, the Illinois is joined by the Spoon River coming from Fulton County and across from Browning, it is joined by the Sangamon River, which passes through the state capital, Illinois; the La Moine River flows into it five miles southwest of Beardstown, south of Peoria and Pekin and north of Lincoln and Springfield. Near the confluence of the Illinois with the La Moine River, it turns south, flowing parallel to the Mississippi across southwestern Illinois. Macoupin Creek joins the Illinois on the border between Greene and Jersey counties 15 miles upstream from the confluence with the Mississippi.
For the last 20 miles of its course, the Illinois is separated from the Mississippi River by only about five miles, by a peninsula of land that makes up Calhoun County. The Illinois joins the Mississippi near Grafton 25 miles northwest of downtown St. Louis and about 20 miles upstream from the confluence of the Missouri River and the Mississippi. South of Hennepin, the Illinois River is following the ancient channel of the Mississippi River; the Illinoian Stage, about 300,000 to 132,000 years ago, blocked the Mississippi near Rock Island, diverting it into its present channel. After the glacier melted, the Illinois River flowed into the ancient channel; the Hennepin Canal follows the ancient channel of the Mississippi upstream of Rock Island. The modern channel of the Illinois River was shaped in a matter of days by the Kankakee Torrent. During the melting of the Wisconsin Glacier about 10,000 years ago, a lake formed in present-day Indiana, comparable to one of the modern Great Lakes; the lake formed behind the terminal moraine of a substage of that glacier.
Melting ice to the north raised the level of the lake so that it overflowed the moraine. The dam burst, the entire volume of the lake was released in a short time a few days; because of the manner of its formation, the Illinois River runs through a deep canyon with many rock formations. It has an "underutilized channel", one far larger than would be needed to contain any conceivable flow in modern times. Flooding along the Illinois River The Illinois River valley was one of the strongholds of the Illinois Confederation of Native Americans; the French first met the natives here in 1673. The first European settlement in the state of Illinois was the Jesuit mission founded in 1675 by Father Jacques Marquette on the banks of the Illinois across from Starved Rock at the Grand Village of the Illinois. Marquette wrote of the river, “We have seen nothing like this river that we enter, as regards its fertility of soil, its prairies and woods. There are many small rivers; that on which we sailed is wide and still, for 65 leagues."In 1680, René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle built the first fort in Illinois, Ft. St. Louis, at Starved Rock.
It was relocated to the present site of Creve Coeur, near Peoria, where the Jesuits relocated. The Peoria Riverfront Museum contains a gallery, "Illinois River Encounter," that attempts to interpret the museum through an aquarium tank and displays of the river's geology, social history and commercial use. From 1905 to 1915, more freshwater fish were harvested from the Illinois River than from any other river in the United States except for the Columbia River; the Illinois River was once a major source of mussels for the shell button industry. Overfishing, habitat loss from heavy siltation, water pollution have eliminated most commercial fishing except for a small mussel harvest to provide shells to seed pearl oysters overseas, it is commercially fished downstream of the Rt. 89 bridge at Spring Valley. However, an infestation of invasive Asian Carp has crowded out many game fish in the river; the Illinois River is still an important sports fishing waterway with a good sauger fishery. The Illinois forms part of a modern waterway that connects the Great
The Chicago River is a system of rivers and canals with a combined length of 156 miles that runs through the city of Chicago, including its center. Though not long, the river is notable because it is one of the reasons for Chicago's geographic importance: the related Chicago Portage is a link between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River Basin, the Gulf of Mexico; the River is noteworthy for its natural and human-engineered history. In 1887, the Illinois General Assembly decided to reverse the flow of the Chicago River through civil engineering by taking water from Lake Michigan and discharging it into the Mississippi River watershed in response to concerns created by an extreme weather event in 1885 that threatened the city's water supply. In 1889, the Illinois General Assembly created the Chicago Sanitary District to replace the Illinois and Michigan Canal with the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, a much larger waterway, because the former had become inadequate to serve the city's increasing sewage and commercial navigation needs.
Completed by 1900, the project reversed the flow of the Main Stem and South Branch of the Chicago River by using a series of canal locks and increasing the flow from Lake Michigan into the river, causing the river to empty into the new Canal instead. In 1999, the system was named a'Civil Engineering Monument of the Millennium' by the American Society of Civil Engineers; the river is represented on the Municipal Flag of Chicago by two horizontal blue stripes. Its three branches serve as the inspiration for the Municipal Device, a three-branched, Y-shaped symbol, found on many buildings and other structures throughout Chicago; when it followed its natural course, the North and South Branches of the Chicago River converged at Wolf Point to form the Main Stem, which jogged southward from the present course of the river to avoid a baymouth bar, entering Lake Michigan at about the level of present-day Madison Street. Today, the Main Stem of the Chicago River flows west from Lake Michigan to Wolf Point, where it converges with the North Branch to form the South Branch, which flows southwest and empties into the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.
Early settlers named the North Branch of the Chicago River the Guarie River, or Gary's River, after a trader who may have settled the west bank of the river a short distance north of Wolf Point, at what is now Fulton Street. The source of the North Branch is in the northern suburbs of Chicago where its three principal tributaries converge; the Skokie River—or East Fork—rises from a flat area a wetland, near Park City, Illinois to the west of the city of Waukegan. It flows southward, paralleling the edge of Lake Michigan, through wetlands, the Greenbelt Forest Preserve and a number of golf courses towards Highland Park, Illinois. South of Highland Park the river passes the Chicago Botanic Gardens and through an area of former marshlands known as the Skokie Lagoons; the Middle Fork arises near Rondout and flows southwards through Lake Forest and Highland Park. These two tributaries merge at Watersmeet Woods west of Wilmette. From there the North Branch flows south towards Morton Grove; the West Fork rises near Mettawa and flows south through Bannockburn and Northbrook, meeting the North Branch at Morton Grove.
In recognition of the work of Ralph Frese in promoting canoeing on and conservation of Chicago-area rivers, the forest preserve district of Cook County, Illinois has designated a section of the East Fork and North Branch from Willow Road in Northfield to Dempster Street in Morton Grove the Ralph Frese River Trail. The North Branch continues southwards through Niles, entering the city of Chicago near the intersection of Milwaukee Avenue and Devon Avenue, from where it serves as the boundary of the Forest Glen community area with Norwood Park and Jefferson Park; this stretch of the river meanders in a south-easterly direction, passing through golf courses and forest preserves until it reaches Foster Avenue, where it passes through residential neighborhoods on the north side of the Albany Park community area. In River Park the river meets the North Shore Channel, a drainage canal built between 1907 and 1910 to increase the flow of the North Branch and help flush pollution into the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.
From the confluence with the North Shore Channel south to Belmont Avenue the North Branch flows through residential neighborhoods in a man-made channel, dug to straighten and deepen the river, helping it to carry the additional flow from the North Shore Channel. South of Belmont the North Branch is lined with a mixture of residential developments, retail parks, industry until it reaches the industrial area known as the Clybourn Corridor. Here it passes beneath the Cortland Street Drawbridge, the first'Chicago-style' fixed-trunnion bascule bridge built in the United States, is designated as an ASCE Civil Engineering Landmark and a Chicago Landmark. At North Avenue, south of the North Avenue Bridge, the North Branch divides, the original course of the river makes a curve along the west side of Goose Island, whilst the North Branch Canal cuts off the bend, forming the island; the North Branch Canal—or Ogden's Canal—was completed in 1857, was 50 feet wide and 10 feet deep allowing craft navigating the river to avoid the bend.
The 1902 Cherry Avenue Bridge, just south of North Avenue, was constructed to carry the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway onto Goose Island, it is a rare example of an asymmetric bob-tail swing bridge and was designated a Chicago Landmark in 2007. From Goose Island the North Branch continues to flow south east to Wolf Point where it joins the Main Stem. T
The Kankakee River is a tributary of the Illinois River 133 miles long, in northwestern Indiana and northeastern Illinois in the United States. At one time, the river drained one of the largest wetlands in North America and furnished a significant portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River. Altered from its original channel, it flows through a rural farming region of reclaimed cropland, south of Lake Michigan; the Kankakee rises in northwestern Indiana five miles southwest of South Bend, Indiana. It flows in a straight channelized course southwestward through rural northwestern Indiana, collecting the Yellow River from the south in Starke County, passing the communities of South Center and English Lake, it forms the border between LaPorte and Lake counties on the north and Starke and Newton counties on the south. The river curves westward and ceases to be channelized as it enters Kankakee County in northeastern Illinois. Three miles southeast of the city of Kankakee, it receives the Iroquois River from the south and turns to the northwest for its lower 35 miles.
It joins the Des Plaines River from the south to form the Illinois River 50 miles southwest of Chicago. The Kankakee River Basin drains 2,989 square miles in northwest Indiana, 2,169 square miles in northeast Illinois, about seven square miles in southwest Lower Michigan; the Kankakee River heads near South Bend flows westward into Illinois, where it joins with the Des Plaines River to form the Illinois. The area of Lake County which drained to Lake Michigan but now drains by means of artificial diversion to the Illinois River is not considered to be part of the Kankakee River Basin study region. Although the Kankakee River basin includes portions of Indiana and Michigan, the discussion below will focus on the Indiana portion of the basin; the Kankakee Outwash and Lacustrine Plain, a large and poorly drained plain, comprises the southern quarter of both Lake and Porter counties. It is the most recent of the three landscape regions to face the pressures of impending urbanization. Large portions of the area were once marshland associated with the meandering Kankakee River, for eight or nine months of the year, was flanked on both sides by wetlands.
The marsh area was three to four miles wide and contained water one to four feet deep. The low marshland was broken by infrequent islands of sand blown into dunes; the sand islands were the sites of Indian encampments and of pioneer homes. The Kankakee marsh was an effective barrier to early southerly exploration of both counties, but the area has been progressively drained by ditches constructed during the past 60 years; the Kankakee River Basin is a product of the Wisconsin Glacial Episode. It is a remnant of the glacial lakes. Landscape elements include 1) the nearly level plains of a ground moraine, 2) eolian plains, 3) outwash deposits, 4) the central river basin and 5) end moraines forming the north and southern borders. Local relief varies from 60 feet along the Iroquois Moraine, up to 100 feet on the Valparaiso Moraine. Deposits range from 50 to 100 feet in the lower basin; the deepest deposits of 100 to 250 feet are in the upper basin. Along the Valparaiso Moraine, deposits can reach 350 feet thick.
Outwash deposits occur along the northern border of the basin. The southern half of the Kankakee Basin, south of the main river channel, is characterized by the fine-grained sediments that are wind driven, forming a series of broad eolian sand dunes and ridges; these are of moderate height. Lacustrine silts and clays are mixed with the various waterborne and wind driven deposits throughout the basin; the bedrock underlying the Kankakee Basin is of Silurian age. There are strata from the Devonian, Mississippian periods; the Silurian rocks are dolomite and limestone. A major subterranean feature is the Kankakee Arch. North of the arch, the strata dip towards Lake Michigan and the Michigan Basin. To the south, the strata dips southwest toward the Illinois Basin. Within the Kankakee Basin, the rock strata are nearly flat; the Advanced Hydrological Prediction Service contains current data for river depths. Contrary to what may be shown in online mapping sites or GPS software, the bridge over the Kankakee River on State Line Road near the public ramp at the Indiana–Illinois state line is closed and dismantled.
Some fishing maps and websites about the river may include road directions to the public ramp at the state line, with outdated information. The public ramp is located on the north side of the river, with the bridge out, it is not accessible from the south side, from Illinois Route 114/Indiana State Road 10; as of September 7, 2008, the old iron bridge at the Indiana–Illinois state line had been removed from its concrete supports and was set on the ground, clearing the water by only 3 feet, making it possible to pass beneath only in small boats, etc. The Kankakee River was formed around 16,000 years ago by an event known as the Kankakee Torrent. A glacial lake resulting from meltwater from the Wisconsin glaciation breached the moraines holding it in; the resultant flood created the bed of the Kankakee River and had greater impact in what is today the state of Illinois. Up
Economy of Illinois
The economy of Illinois is the fifth largest by GDP in the United States and one of the most diversified economies in the world. The Chicago metropolitan area is home to many of the United States' largest companies, including Allstate, Caterpillar, Kraft Heinz, McDonald's, United Airlines and more; the Chicago area headquarters a wide variety of financial institutions, is home to the largest futures exchange in the world, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The 2018 total gross state product for Illinois was $857 billion; the 2015 median household income was $59,588. In 2016, the nine counties of the Chicago metropolitan area accounted for 77.3% of the state's total wages, with the remaining 93 counties at 22.7%. The state's industrial outputs include machinery, food processing, electrical equipment, chemical products, fabricated metal products and transportation equipment. Corn and soybeans are important agricultural products. Service industries of note are financial trading, higher education and medicine.
Most of the state of Illinois lies outside the Chicago metropolitan area and inside the North American Corn Belt. Corn and other large-field crops are grown extensively; these crops and their products account for much of the state's economic output outside Chicago. Much of the field crop is remanufactured into feed for cattle. Dairy products and wheat are important secondary crops in specific segments of the state. In addition, some Illinois farmers grow specialty crops such as popcorn and pumpkins; the state is the largest producer of pumpkins among the U. S. states. There is a large watermelon growing area centered on Illinois. Illinois wine is a growing industry. In December 2006, the Shawnee Hills were named Illinois's first American Viticultural Area. Manufacturing in Illinois accounts for 14% of the state's total output and generates $101 billion in economic activity. Illinois's manufacturing sector grew out of its agricultural production. A key piece of infrastructure for several generations was the Union Stock Yards of Chicago, which from 1865 until 1971 penned and slaughtered millions of cattle and hogs into standardized cuts of beef and pork.
In 1893 Illinois manufacturers formed the Illinois Manufacturers' Association in opposition to the Sweatshop Law of 1893 that prohibited child labor and mandated an eight-hour workday. Governor Peter Altgeld had made Florence Kelley the Chief Factory Inspector for the state of Illinois; the association sponsored a number of cases which led to the Illinois Supreme Court finding that Section 5 of the Act, which limited women's working weeks to 48 hours and their day to eight hours, unconstitutional in 1895. After Governor Altgeld was not re-elected in 1896 and Kelley was removed from her position, flagrant violations of the child labor provision were reported; the centralized location of Illinois made it a key manufacturing hub for farm machinery and specialty motor vehicles. Smaller Cities like Aurora, Decatur and other cities became major manufacturing centers in the 20th century. In downstate Illinois, the John Deere Company became one of the world's largest makers of farm machinery, Caterpillar achieved similar dominance in its diversified line of off-road vehicles.
The Chicago area, began to produce significant quantities of telecommunications gear, steel and industrial products. As of 2004, the leading manufacturing industries in Illinois, based upon value-added, were chemical manufacturing, food manufacturing, machinery manufacturing, fabricated metal products and rubber products, transportation equipment, computer and electronic products. Illinois ranks second in the Midwest for total installed renewable power capacity and fifth nationally for installed wind power capacity; the renewable energy economy has created 114,000 jobs in Illinois and will continue to see growth after a $15 billion investment from the Future Energy Jobs Act in 2016. Governor J. B. Pritzker committed Illinois to the U. S. Climate Alliance in 2019 which will further drive economic growth in renewable energy across the state. By the early 2000s, Illinois's economy had moved toward a dependence on high-value-added services such as financial trading, higher education and medicine. In some cases, these services clustered around institutions that hearkened back to Illinois's earlier economies.
For example, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, a trading exchange for global derivatives, had begun its life as an agricultural futures market. In the late 2010s, the Chicago Metropolitan Area continued to lead the nation in luring corporate relocations or expanded corporate facilities; the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign publishes a "flash-index" that aims to measure expected economic growth in Illinois. The indicators used are consumer spending and personal income; these indicators are measured through tax receipts, adjusted for inflation. 100 is the base, so a number above 100 represents growth in the Illinois economy, a number below 100 represents a shrinking economy. Data from the index, from 6/1981 to the present, can be found here. Economy of Chicago Great Lakes Megalopolis
Embarras River (Illinois)
The Embarras River is a 195-mile-long tributary of the Wabash River in southeastern Illinois in the United States. The waters of the Embarras reach the Gulf of Mexico via the Wabash and Mississippi Rivers; the river drains a watershed around 1,566,450 acres in an agricultural region. The name comes from French explorers, who used the term embarras for river obstacles and difficulties relating to logjams and the like; the Embarras River rises in Champaign County. The upper reaches of the Embarras include the detention ponds near the intersection of Windsor Road with U. S. Route 45 in southeastern Champaign; the Embarras flows southward through Douglas, Coles and Jasper Counties. In Jasper County, it turns southeast for the remainder of its course through Richland and Lawrence Counties. Portions of the river's lower course have been channelized, it joins the Wabash River 6 miles southwest of Indiana. Along its course, the Embarras passes the towns of Villa Grove, Charleston, Newton, Ste. Marie, Lawrenceville.
In its upper course in Champaign County, the river collects the East Branch Embarras River, which rises in southwestern Vermilion County and flows 20.3 miles westwardly in a channelized course, past the town of Broadlands. 39°53′25″N 88°10′50″W In Coles County, the Embarras collects the Little Embarras River, which rises in Edgar County and flows 19.6 miles southwestwardly. 39°34′26″N 88°04′28″W In Jasper County, the Embarras collects the North Fork Embarras River, 64.0 miles long, which rises in Edgar County and flows southwardly through Clark and Crawford Counties. 38°55′00″N 87°59′18″W The United States Board on Geographic Names settled on "Embarras River" as the stream's official name in 1964. According to the Geographic Names Information System, it has been known as the "Ambraw River" and as the "Embarrass River." The only population of harlequin darters in Illinois is found in the Embarras River. In the 18th century, the Embarras River was part of the trail from Cahokia to Vincennes; the river route was used by George Rogers Clark's forces during the Illinois Campaign.
List of Illinois rivers Watersheds of Illinois Columbia Gazetteer of North America entry DeLorme. Illinois Atlas & Gazetteer. Yarmouth, Maine: DeLorme. ISBN 0-89933-321-4. Embarras River - Illinois Geographic Alliance Surf the Embarras with USEPA Prairie Rivers Network
The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. Its source is Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota and it flows south for 2,320 miles to the Mississippi River Delta in the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains all or parts of 32 U. S. two Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian mountains. The main stem is within the United States; the Mississippi ranks as the fifteenth-largest river by discharge in the world. The river either borders or passes through the states of Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana. Native Americans have lived along its tributaries for thousands of years. Most were hunter-gatherers, but some, such as the Mound Builders, formed prolific agricultural societies; the arrival of Europeans in the 16th century changed the native way of life as first explorers settlers, ventured into the basin in increasing numbers.
The river served first as a barrier, forming borders for New Spain, New France, the early United States, as a vital transportation artery and communications link. In the 19th century, during the height of the ideology of manifest destiny, the Mississippi and several western tributaries, most notably the Missouri, formed pathways for the western expansion of the United States. Formed from thick layers of the river's silt deposits, the Mississippi embayment is one of the most fertile regions of the United States. During the American Civil War, the Mississippi's capture by Union forces marked a turning point towards victory, due to the river's strategic importance to the Confederate war effort; because of substantial growth of cities and the larger ships and barges that replaced steamboats, the first decades of the 20th century saw the construction of massive engineering works such as levees and dams built in combination. A major focus of this work has been to prevent the lower Mississippi from shifting into the channel of the Atchafalaya River and bypassing New Orleans.
Since the 20th century, the Mississippi River has experienced major pollution and environmental problems – most notably elevated nutrient and chemical levels from agricultural runoff, the primary contributor to the Gulf of Mexico dead zone. The word Mississippi itself comes from Misi zipi, the French rendering of the Anishinaabe name for the river, Misi-ziibi. In the 18th century, the river was the primary western boundary of the young United States, since the country's expansion westward, the Mississippi River has been considered a convenient if approximate dividing line between the Eastern and Midwestern United States, the Western United States; this is exemplified by the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and the phrase "Trans-Mississippi" as used in the name of the Trans-Mississippi Exposition, it is common to qualify a regionally superlative landmark in relation to it, such as "the highest peak east of the Mississippi" or "the oldest city west of the Mississippi". The FCC uses it as the dividing line for broadcast call-signs, which begin with W to the east and K to the west, mixing together in media markets along the river.
The Mississippi River can be divided into three sections: the Upper Mississippi, the river from its headwaters to the confluence with the Missouri River. The Upper Mississippi runs from its headwaters to its confluence with the Missouri River at St. Louis, Missouri, it is divided into two sections: The headwaters, 493 miles from the source to Saint Anthony Falls in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The source of the Upper Mississippi branch is traditionally accepted as Lake Itasca, 1,475 feet above sea level in Itasca State Park in Clearwater County, Minnesota; the name "Itasca" was chosen to designate the "true head" of the Mississippi River as a combination of the last four letters of the Latin word for truth and the first two letters of the Latin word for head. However, the lake is in turn fed by a number of smaller streams. From its origin at Lake Itasca to St. Louis, the waterway's flow is moderated by 43 dams. Fourteen of these dams are located above Minneapolis in the headwaters region and serve multiple purposes, including power generation and recreation.
The remaining 29 dams, beginning in downtown Minneapolis, all contain locks and were constructed to improve commercial navigation of the upper river. Taken as a whole, these 43 dams shape the geography and influence the ecology of the upper river. Beginning just below Saint Paul and continuing throughout the upper and lower river, the Mississippi is further controlled by thousands of wing dikes that moderate the river's flow in order to maintain an open navigation channel and prevent the river from eroding its banks; the head of navigation on the Mississippi is the Coon Rapids Dam in Minnesota. Before it was built in 1913, steamboats could go upstream as far as Saint Cloud, depending on river conditions; the uppermost lock and dam on the Upper Mississippi River is the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock an