From Dredging Today:

Thomas Simon knows first hand what a terrible condition the Grand Calumet River has been in. When he first sampled it for fish in 1985, his findings were scary.

“The only fish we caught, it was a carp, it had no fins. It was completely bloody,” recalled Simon, then in his first year with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “There was no (Indiana Department of Environmental Management) at the time. It was the health department. All the guys started cheering. There was a fish and it was alive. That was the first fish we caught.”

Three years later, Simon went back. That’s when he found Blinky — a fish who got his name because he was so severely deformed that he had no eye on one side of his mouth.

Fish deformities are part of what led scientists to list the Grand Calumet River as impaired for all 14 possible uses in 1972, earning it the title of the most polluted river in the nation.

This summer, Simon hopes to start changing that by proving that the river is in much better condition than government data shows. Now a researcher for Indiana State University, Simon will be sampling a 10-mile stretch of the river and areas nearby. Read more.


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