Friends, Coalition Partners Release Plan for North Branch Park & Preserve

This week Friends of the Chicago River and a diverse group of civic leaders and stakeholder groups released their vision for a concept park along the North Branch of the Chicago River within the footprint of the North Branch Framework Plan, the first rezoning leveraged by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Industrial Corridor Modernization Initiative.

Designed to complement the new plan and Sterling Bay’s massive Lincoln Yards development, the North Branch Park and Nature Preserve envisions a signature park located within the former Planned Manufacturing District footprint to illustrate how adjacent environmentally-challenged and underutilized parcels can be assembled and transitioned into an amenity that elevates value for Lincoln Yards, serves Chicago residents, and enhances the ecology of the Chicago River.


Continue Reading »

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. 

Continue Reading »

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.


Continue Reading »

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:


Continue Reading »

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.

Continue Reading »

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 

Continue Reading »

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.


Continue Reading »

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.


Continue Reading »