February 2024 was the warmest on record in Chicago. The lakefront seen from the Museum Campus, Feb. 27, 2024. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

It’s official, Chicago: February 2024 was the warmest in 153 years of recording keeping.

Native lilliput mussels (l) and invasive zebra mussels (r). (Credits: Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Flickr Creative Commons)

In honor of National Invasive Species Awareness Week, we’re posting daily “dupes” — invasives that can easily be confused with native species. Today we’re featuring two tiny freshwater mussels that couldn’t have less in common.

Alaina Harkness, the executive director of the water tech nonprofit Current, appears at a Chicago news conference on Jan. 30, 2024, with Gov. J.B. Pritzker. (Dilpreet Raju  / Capitol News Illinois)

The U.S. National Science Foundation awarded the grant to Current Innovation NFP, a nonprofit “innovation hub” whose mission is to “solve pressing water challenges caused by climate change and pollution.” 

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Technician James Stone works to remove a floating solar-powered telemetry receiver from the Mississippi River backwaters near La Crosse, Wis. on Monday, Nov. 6, 2023. (AP Photo / Todd Richmond)

Over the last five years, agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources have employed a new seek-and-destroy strategy that uses turncoat carp to lead them to the fish’s hotspot hideouts.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the completed restoration project was held on Oct. 23, 2023. (Nicole Cardos / WTTW News)

A major effort to restore nearly 200 acres of wetland habitat at Powderhorn Prairie and Marsh Nature Preserve on the Chicago’s Southeast Side is now complete after more than three years.

This Aug. 17, 2021, photo shows Quagga mussels cover the engine of a Bell P-39 Airacobra military plane in Lake Huron, Mich., as maritime archaeologist Carrie Sowden, rear, documents the site.(Wayne Lusardi via AP)

An invasive mussel is destroying shipwrecks deep in the depths of the Great Lakes, forcing archeologists and amateur historians into a race against time to find as many sites as they can before the region loses any physical trace of its centuries-long maritime history.

The Wisconsin Historical Society released this image from Lake Michigan. (Wisconsin Historical Society)

According to the Wisconsin Historical Society, the Trinidad was built for the Great Lakes grain trade between Milwaukee, Chicago, Buffalo and Oswego. The ship’s owners did not invest much money into its upkeep, leaving its career relatively short.

Lake Michigan, at a high-water mark in 2019. (WTTW News)

Drew Gronewold, an expert in hydrological modeling at the University of Michigan, presented his annual update on Great Lakes’ water levels. Lake Michigan is holding steady, but for how long?

Lake Michigan is pictured in a file photo. (WTTW News)

The boy went missing in the water near the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk Beach in Indiana. This marks the seventh drowning in Lake Michigan in 2023.

(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The Great Lakes was named a global “Hope Spot,” joining the Galapagos Islands, the Great Barrier Reef and the Bering Sea as a place identified as critical to the health of the ocean.

In this image taken from video provided by the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the bow of the Ironton is seen in Lake Huron off Michigan’s east coast in a June 2021 photo. Searchers have found the long-lost Great Lakes ship that came to a tragic end. (Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary via AP)

The 191-foot cargo vessel collided with a grain hauler on a blustery night in September 1894, sinking both. The Ironton’s captain and six sailors clambered into a lifeboat but it was dragged to the bottom before they could detach it from the ship. Only two crewmen survived.

U.S. Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley speaks during a media conference after a meeting of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023. (AP Photo / Olivier Matthys)

The acknowledgment of the errant missile by Gen. Mark Milley came amid questions about whether the government was creating unnecessary risk by shooting down aerial objects that military officials say didn’t pose a security threat.

The Pentagon is seen from Air Force One as it flies over Washington, March 2, 2022. U.S. officials say an “unidentified object” has been shot down Sunday for the third time in as many days, this time over Lake Huron, after earlier downings in Alaska and Canada. (AP Photo / Patrick Semansky, File)

The downing comes after earlier objects in Alaska and Canada were shot out of the sky because they were flying at altitudes that posed a threat to commercial aircraft, according to the officials, who had knowledge of the downings and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive operations.

WTTW News explains the science behind lake effect snow. (Hint: We’re lucky to be on this side of Lake Michigan.)

A sucker tagged and released for study in a new research project. (Courtesy Shedd Aquarium)

Shedd researcher Karen Murchie has been singing the praises of suckers for years in service of drawing more attention to the overlooked fish. Now the broader scientific community is taking note. 

(WTTW News)

Illinois is rebranding Asian carp as “copi” in a bid to get people to eat the invasive fish into submission. Fishermen are catching thousands of pounds a day and barely making a dent in the number of carp in waterways like the Illinois River, where it's estimated 20 million to 50 million could be harvested annually.