Three Down, One to Go

On Sunday, November 9 Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel cut the ribbon for the new boathouse at West River Park, further improving river access which Friends has been striving towards for the last 35 years. The River Park boathouse will open to rent canoes and kayaks  starting next spring. The mayor also announced that the funding is in place for the final boathouse that will be built at the mouth of Bubbly Creek.

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Barges Sinks in the South Branch

Last Friday a barge that was being loaded with clay from a construction site on the South Branch of the Chicago River broke down the middle, spilling its contents into the water. The construction company in charge, Clark Construction, said clay was not in any way contaminated but was unwilling to share any more details.

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Will the Riverwalk Help the River?

Margaret Frisbie, Friends of the Chicago River’s executive director, was recently interviewed on WBEZ’s “Morning Shift” about progress on the Chicago Riverwalk and the RFP the city issued for a new management company to run it. The riverwalk is projected to be completed in 2016 and will showcase the Chicago River with a series of individualized public spaces and a 1 ¼ mile continuous walkway running from Lake Shore Drive to Lake Street. The City is looking for a management company to run it at a profit.

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The Chicago River IS improving

Environmental writer, Kevin Hebert, decided that too much of the time environmental news is just gloom and doom so he asked Friends  and two others to weigh in on how our waterways are doing to share some good news. Fortunately for us and because of a lot of dedicated effort they are getting better all the time! 

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Sunken Barge Update

Heavy rains a few weeks ago sunk a barge being used as part of the Chicago Riverwalk construction project. According to city sources Riverwalk contractor, Walsh Construction, prepared a salvage plan for the barge which was reviewed and approved by Illinois EPA (IEPA) and the United States Coast Guard (USCG). Both agencies put personnel on site to monitor the progress while it is being lifted. As of today, the removal of the barge is continuing per the plan and IEPA and USCG have not voiced any concerns.

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7th Circuit Court Blocks Lock Closures Again

The U.S. 7th Circuit Courts of Appeals rejected a bid by other states to close Chicago's locks in an effort to stop the movement of Asian carp. The judge writing for the panel, Diane Wood, wrote that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is "taking its stewardship over the CAWS and the carp problem seriously."

 

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Poor, Poor Chicago River

Since early June the Chicago River has been deluged with sewage and polluted stormwater becasue of the frequent heavy rains that have overwhelmed the tunnel and reservoir  (TARP/Deep Tunnel) system meant to protect the river.  Find out more about it and what you can do by listening to Friends' executive director and others on "The Morning Shift."

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IDNR Nonpoint Plan Ready for Comments

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources' (IDNR) draft plan for controlling nonpoint source pollution or some reaches of the Chicago River system and Lake Michigan has been posted online for review by the general public. The goal is to restore and protect coastal waters.

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