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(Richard Schneider / Flickr)

What lies below the surface of the Chicago River today is not what it was a century ago, but pollution is still a problem. A Chicago nonprofit aims to offer real-time water quality data to the public later this year.

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(Chicago Tonight file photo)

A bold plan to get hundreds of people into the Chicago River for a 2.4-mile swim remains docked for a year or so after organizers struggled to secure permits and coordinate with a number of city agencies.

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A wild parsnip plant (Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore / Flickr)

An attractive yet potentially dangerous plant identified near the North Avenue Bridge will be removed this week, a spokesperson for Chicago’s Department of Streets and Sanitation said Monday.

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Shedd Aquarium’s Kayak for Conservation program aims to introduce residents to the Chicago River ecosystem and the wildlife that call the waters home. (Hilary Wind / Shedd Aquarium)

Chicago summers are nature’s way of rewarding your winter survival skills. And now that warm weather is here, it’s time to get off the couch and actively embrace the season. Here are 10 fun, easy ways to do just that.

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(Chicago Tonight file photo)

Doug McConnell has swam in New York’s Hudson River, the Boston Harbor and even the English Channel. Now he wants to make a splash in his own city.

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(Chicago Tonight file photo)

The Litter Free Chicago River project will soon include a stretch of the river from North Avenue to Foster Avenue, where the North Branch connects with the North Shore Channel.

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Geoffrey Baer floats through a bygone colony of houseboats that once populated our city’s favorite Y-shaped waterway in this encore edition of Ask Geoffrey.

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(Courtesy Friends of the Chicago River)

The structures, which look like doghouses without doors or windows, rest atop 12-foot stilts and can accommodate as many as 2,000 bats. Is this the year the bats will move in?

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Lincoln Yards artist’s rendering (Courtesy Sterling Bay)

A former industrial corridor along the North Branch of the Chicago River could be turned in to the city’s newest entertainment district. Rock critic Jim DeRogatis sounds a warning.

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As the weather gets nicer, Chicagoans and tourists are expected to flock to an increasingly popular destination: the Chicago River and attractions along its main branch. But has it become too congested?

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(Erica Gunderson / Chicago Tonight)

Keeping the river clean is no easy task, particularly during the summer months when the river is bustling. We spend a morning with one of Chicago’s trash-scooping river skimmers. 

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(Richard Schneider / Flickr)

The mayor outlines major projects to expand recreation along the Chicago River. Why some aldermen say it’s not enough.

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Conservationists have installed five bat houses in Cook County since 2016 to provide safe maternity colonies where female bats can give birth and nurse their pups. (Courtesy Friends of the Chicago River)

Three years after they began installing bat houses along waterways in Cook County, conservationists are hoping the bats will start moving in this year.

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(Chicago Tonight file photo)

The Chicago River is cleaner today than it has been in generations, but “cleaner” is a relative term. One local advocacy group wants the city to aim for a trash-free river.

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Workers from the Environmental Protection Agency respond to an oil spill Oct. 26 at a fork of the Chicago River known as Bubbly Creek. (EPA)

The EPA likely won’t be able to determine the source of a late October oil spill in the Chicago River because the agency was notified about the spill two days after it occurred, the EPA said Tuesday. 

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Geoffrey Baer gets ready for a new voyage along the Chicago River with viewer questions about the history of our city’s favorite Y-shaped waterway.

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