Get Plastic and Other Trash Out

Last Wednesday Friends of the Chicago River held the Chicago River Summit, a semiannual event that brings together policy makers, advocates and interested citizens to discuss river-related issues that need to be resolved. Titled “Ending the Waste Stream: Pathways to a Garbage Free Chicago River,” this year’s theme was aquatic garbage pollution. Read this op-ed from the Chicago Sun-Times by Friends' Board President, Sally Fletcher. 

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Friends Calls for an End to Garbage in the River

CHICAGO— On Wednesday, March 7, 2018 Friends of the Chicago River hosted its annual Chicago River Summit at MillerCoors’ Chicago headquarters to discuss garbage in the river and how to get rid of it. Ending the Waste Stream: Pathways to a Garbage-Free Chicago River, brought together advocates and innovators from across the continent who are working on garbage issues and solutions in a discussion about how we can stamp out sources of garbage pollution and do a better job removing the garbage once it’s there.

Friends' new release has more details on the event.


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Chi-Cal Rivers Fund Announces 960K in Grants

Friends is thrilled to receive funding from the Chi-Cal Rivers Fund as one of five community-driven projects to help create a healthier river, habitat, and communities.  Green space, wildlife habitat and stormwater management are essential to the vitality of our river systems—and to the health and safety of the communities around them.

Friends of the Chicago River  will reconnect Mill Creek to the Cal-Sag Channel by removing two shelf structures which block fish passage from the Cal-Sag Channel, opening up 2.5 miles of high-quality stream habitat to benefit more than 17 species of fish.

Here's a snapshop of the collective impact of this funding:


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Not Looking Away Anymore

More and more people aren't looking away anymore when the Chicago River is a strange two-toned contrast of teal and brown. There's a shift in our mindset and they want to know "What's happening?" Read this editorial by the Chicago Sun-Times.

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River Discoloration

Friends of the Chicago River has been working to understand what happened over the weekend that resulted in the dramatic color difference between the North Branch and the Main Stem of the Chicago River between Lake Michigan and Wolf Point.  It appears that the heavy rain increased turbidity and the amount of stormwater pollution that ended up in the river.

See the 4:30 p.m. Monday update 

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Bubbly Creek Spill

Following an oil spill reported Wednesday evening, the USEPA Region 5 is leading the clean-up in Bubbly Creek. The agency arrived on site Thursday morning and are actively cleaning the area and still searching for the point source. There are crews working hard both on land and boat. Pockets of oil were discovered as far south as California Avenue. The windy conditions today are affecting the river’s current to head east towards the lake.


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Catch of the Day

Nearly 200 anglers gathered for the first #ChicagoFishes event on Oct. 13, and the biggest and most surprising catch of the day was an American eel that came from 3,000 miles away to the Chicago River by five-year old, Richie Garcia.


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River Commitment Awards Honor Partners and Volunteers

Each year, Friends recognizes partners, stakeholders, and volunteers that help us achieve our vision of making the Chicago River one of the world’s greatest metropolitan rivers with its annual River Commitment Awards.  On October 18, 2017, we held our annual meeting and honored this year's most inspiring partners with the following awards:  the River Champion—awarded for going above and beyond the call of duty on behalf of their organization; Spirit of the River—for extraordinary efforts that embody the spirit of the river, and Volunteer of the Year—awarded to an exemplary volunteer who exceeds all expectations helping the river. 

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