by Natalie Bomke,

– As boating season ramps up in Chicago, the Army Corps of Engineers is getting help from a very unusual employee.

Ellie the Border Collie is a government employee, “hired” to keep the Chicago Harbor Lock clean.

“Before Ellie, the seagulls here were pretty bad. You’d see bird poop everywhere. The docks were disgusting to touch,” said Alex Navarro, a local tourist boat captain.

The Chicago Lock acts as a water elevator, lifting boats from the Chicago River into Lake Michigan and vice versa.Tourism and private boat owners must dock up on the side of the lock

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