Who to call?

Thanks for caring and taking the time to learn more about how to take action. This list is designed to let people know who to call when they see things that need immediate action on or along the Chicago River. 

While most people see the Chicago River as a wonderful natural resource that deserves our care, we still have problems with illicit dumping, combined sewer overflows, and impacts from garbage that is carried to the river when it rains. Sometime there are also dead fish or wild animals that need help.

To help manage these distressing issues, Friends asks you to serve as eyes and ears for the Chicago River by watching out for garbage and visible pollution and to make a phone call when you see anything that looks like it does not belong.

  • For floating garbage, fly dumping or other illegal activities in Chicago, call the City of Chicago at 311.
  • For fish kills, illegal dumping into the waterway or sewers, or complaints of water pollution in Cook County call the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District at (800) 332-DUMP (3867).

For more frequent reporting, download their Citizen Incident Reporting application by going to app store and searching for MWRD Citizen Incident Reporting.

  • When trash is overflowing in a city park, call the Chicago Park District - (312) 742-7529
  • For injured wildlife check out what do to by reading the guidelines on the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website that helps you understand who to call or what to do: Injured Animal Information   (Please note that in most cases that will be nothing.)

After you make your call, we encourage you to call us so we can follow up as well. You can leave a message or speak with Jeremiah at (312) 939-0490, ext 10.

Thank you!