|
A proposed rendering of a renovated Morton Salt building. (Credit: Chicago Department of Planning and Development)

The metamorphosis of the land along the North Branch of the Chicago River from an industrial powerhouse into Chicago’s newest community area is poised to take another giant step forward at Wednesday’s full City Council meeting.

|
Headwaters of Bubbly Creek and the Racine Avenue Pump Station. (Courtesy of USGS)

Congress authorized a plan from the Army Corps of Engineers to restore the Chicago River’s South Fork, a 1.25-mile stretch more familiarly known as Bubbly Creek. Now actual dollars need to follow. 

|
A group of suckers on the move in Door County, Wisconsin. (Courtesy of Shedd Aquarium)

Walking along Lake Michigan or the Chicago River, it’s difficult to imagine an underwater world teeming with life. But it’s there, promises Karen Murchie, a research biologist at the Shedd Aquarium, and we have to protect it.

|
A section of the MWRD's Deep Tunnel. (Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago / Facebook)

An upcoming virtual tour will offer insights into the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District’s inner workings and will revisit the reversal of the Chicago River. 

|
Floating habitat being positioned on the Chicago River. (Shedd Aquarium / Brenna Hernandez)

Rafts loaded with plants floated down the Chicago River last week, a strange sight that in decades past might have been the result of some sort of bizarre garbage spill but these days is a sure sign of the waterway’s ongoing “re-wilding.”

|
A flooded Riverwalk along the Chicago River. (WTTW News)

This spring, Chicago saw record rainfall for the third May in a row – and with it, the return of flooded streets, parks and basements. A new analysis finds many more Chicago properties are at risk of flooding than previously thought.

|
Chicago River stormwater diversion tunnel at work, with water flowing from the outtake. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Early Monday morning, the North Branch Chicago River gauge at Pulaski Road showed the waterway at 17.87 feet, inches away from the river's "minor" flood level at 18 feet, according to National Weather Service data.

,
|
The DuSable Bridge (Marcin Wichary / Flickr)

The bridge, which spans the Chicago River at Michigan Avenue, paved the way for development of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. Tune in at 7 p.m. Thursday to celebrate its past and present.

|
Individual litter cleanup efforts will have to replace the Chicago River Day group event this year due to the coronavirus. (Courtesy Friends of the Chicago River)

The organization had to cancel its Chicago River Day cleanup due to the coronavirus. Instead of bringing thousands of volunteers together for a one-day event, the new Summer Challenge encourages people to pick up litter in their neighborhoods.

|
The Chicago River flowed green on its North Branch, as seen from Kedzie Avenue. (Patty Wetli / WTTW)

The annual dyeing of the river was canceled downtown, but the waterway flowed emerald green on its North Branch.

|
The east bank of the North Shore Channel has been stripped of foliage in Legion Park as part of a habitat restoration project. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The east bank of the North Shore Channel has been stripped of foliage between Foster and Bryn Mawr avenues, to be replaced with native species. Neighbors say the project has laid bare “eyesores” on the opposite bank.

|
A black-crowned night heron snags a fish on River Park’s new riverbed habitat, where Chicago’s last waterfall once flowed. (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)

On Chicago’s Northwest Side, a gently sloping riverbed occupies the former site of a small but historically important dam. We visit a popular fishing spot – for humans and birds alike – at River Park.

|
(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.

|
(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.

|

Restoring the Chicago River has been a project many decades in the making. One of many organizations taking part in that effort offers a water-level view of the work underway. We go for a look.

|
Team UCAN, a North Lawndale-based nonprofit, used the chant “UCAN!” (or “You can!”) to paddle in sync with each other. (Evan Garcia / WTTW)

Thirty-four teams competed Saturday in the Dragon Boat Race for Literacy in Chinatown’s Ping Tom Park – the most competitors in the event’s 19-year history.