New Paving Techniques Help River

New techniques for permeable paving, which help prevent flooding and pollution from reaching the Chicago River, are being implemented this week at Lawrence’s Fisheries, a Friends’ business member, by Ozinga Chicago, a business member as well.

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Friends and IDNR Release 30,000 Channel Cats

Friends of the Chicago River and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources released 30,000 channel catfish into the Chicago River system on June 10. A first step in a major river restoration project funded by the Chi-Cal Rivers Fund, 10,000 were released downtown at the confluence of the North Branch, Main Stem, and South Branch and 20,000 into the Little Calumet.

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Friends Big Fish Ball Raises Record Funds

On June 5, Friends of the Chicago River's annual gala, the Big Fish Ball, raised over $250,000 to support Friends' mission to improve and protect the Chicago River. Held on Riverside Drive in front of the Merchandise Mart, the event was near capacity with 470 diners there to enjoy the lovely summer weather, wild river animals, delicious dinner, and  the beautiful river. The Big Fish Ball was presented by Here: A Nokia Company.

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Redevelopment of Historic Lathrop Homes Moves Forward with Loan From CHA

The Chicago Housing Authority recently approved a $3.4 million loan for the redevelopment of Lathrop Homes, marking a turning point for this project which has been a decade in the works. The preliminary design for the site includes 6 acres of green, community space, multiple public walkways along the river, and a building layout focused on increasing connectivity to the surrounding community. Needless to say, Friends of the Chicago River is very much looking forward to the benefits the redevelopment of this historic community will bring to the North Branch of the Chicago River.

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94th Birthday Celebrated at our Bridgehouse Museum

The Michigan Avenue bridge's 94th birthday was a great excuse for a party at Friends' McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum yesterday when dozens of onlookers sang "Happy Birthday" after enjoying with amazement the giant gears raising the bridge for sailboats headed to the lake.

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Friends on the Chicago Riverwalk

Great progress is being made on the construction of phase 2 of the Chicago Riverwalk which should be complete by the end of 2014. The riverwalk will provide a wonderful array of activities ranging from dining to boating to just hanging out to enjoy the pagentry of the Chicago River.

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New Stormwater Rules in Effect

In good news for the Chicago River system, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District's Watershed Management Ordinance for Cook County went into effect May 1, 2014. The Ordinance, or WMO, governs how stormwater is managed as new development takes place in Cook County.

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WBEZ Story Highlights Runoff

On the day that the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District's Watershed Management Ordinance went into effect, Tony Sarabia on "The Morning Shift," interviewed Friends' executive director, Margaret Frisbie, about how stormwater run off impacts the river.

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Boat House #3 Underway

The Chicago Park District started construction on a new boat house which is the third of four promised boat houses planned for the Chicago River. The ones at Ping Tom Memorial Park and Richard H. Clark Park are already operational. The boat house at River Park is particularly exciting because it complements the planned removal or modification of the dam there. 

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Horner Park Riverbank Restoration Underway

Last week the much anticipated riverbank restoration project at Horner Park began with contractors topping off invasive and dying trees that will be used in restoring ecological health through the restoration process. Designed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the project will transform the riverbank from a tangle of invasive weeds and shrubs to a healthy ecosystem that will benefit people and wildlife. 

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