Time for New Ways to Revel on the Riverfront for St. Patrick’s Day

Green dye in the Upper North Branch of the Chicago River in 2021.

As reported by WTTW Chicago online, staff from Friends of the Chicago River as well as officers from the Forest Preserves of Cook County and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources conservation police will have an eye on the Upper North Branch of the Chicago River today for any illegal dyeing of the river which has occurred the past two years on the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day.

Any dyeing or discoloration of the Upper North Branch should be reported immediately to the Hazardous Waste Dump Hotline of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District for investigation – (800) 332-3867 or (800) 332-DUMP.

Friends of the Chicago River would like to see the downtown tradition of dyeing the river green evolve into something that embraces the vastly improved health of the river system and all of people and wildlife who enjoy and rely on it—imagine fish, beavers or otters swimming through that dyed-green water and you might think a new celebration is the right idea.

A good next step is making sure that the culprits who dyed the Upper North Branch in 2020 and 2021 learn that their idea of fun is ecologically harmful and against the law. Then maybe we can have a contest to develop new ways to revel in St. Patrick’s Day on the riverfront making sure they are healthy and safe for everyone.