Joanna Hernandez kayaks in the Chicago River. (WTTW News)

Shedd Aquarium is once again offering an opportunity to explore the Chicago River while learning about efforts to take care of it. The Kayak for Conservation program offers pay-what-you-can tours.

Thousands of volunteers will fan out across the Chicago-Calumet river system Saturday for the annual River Day cleanup. (Courtesy of Friends of the Chicago River)

“One of the biggest things about litter is it makes people think that the river is more polluted than it is,” said Margaret Frisbie, executive director of Friends of the Chicago River.

File photo of the Chicago River. (WTTW News)
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The nonprofit A Long Swim is planning an open water swim event in the Chicago River this fall. Proceeds will support ALS research and Learn to Swim, a program that teaches children in underserved communities how to swim.

A city of Chicago outfall at the Wild Mile floating wetland installation on the North Branch of the Chicago River. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

“Chicago owns the most outfalls that discharge into the river system, and controlling what comes out of them is essential to reach our shared vision for a fishable-swimmable river that is accessible to everyone,” said Margaret Frisbie, executive director of Friends of the Chicago River.

A rendering of a proposed new White Sox stadium and surrounding development, including housing, at The 78 site. (Credit: Related Midwest)
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Any development on the Chicago River should address concerns about climate resilience, biodiversity, sustainability and pollution, advocates say. "It would be an enormous mistake to not take that seriously," said Margaret Frisbie, of Friends of the Chicago River.

A volunteer pulls a freshwater mussel from the Chicago River, Dec. 12, 2023. (Patty Wetli / W

Freshwater mussels can be a river system’s best friend, but they’re missing from long stretches of the Chicago River. Here’s a look at one effort to reintroduce them.

(Courtesy of Barry Butler, Arena Partners)

Fireworks will launch from six bridges, with a countdown to midnight projected on the Merchandise Mart. 

Jamie Foxx is pictured in March 2023. (Chandan Khanna / AFP / Getty Images / File)

The actor has been recovering since April, when he experienced an undisclosed medical complication, according to his daughter, Corinne Foxx. The star was in Atlanta filming at the time.

This photo provided by Joey Santore shows a snapping turtle relaxing along a Chicago River. Footage of the plump snapping turtle relaxing along a Chicago waterway has gone viral after Santore, who filmed the well-fed reptile, marveled at its size and nicknamed it “Chonkosaurus.” (Joey Santore via AP)

The giant snapping turtle spotted in the Chicago River became a viral sensation this week. But the river is home to lots of wildlife, thanks to ongoing efforts to clean up the waterway.

Every time you flush, the waste disappears in a swirly whirl, never to be seen again. It’s magic! Actually, it’s science and engineering. WTTW News Explains. 

The Wild Mile floating wetland in the Chicago River, October 2022. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Researchers from Shedd Aquarium and Chicago-based Urban Rivers teamed with counterparts in Boston and Baltimore and confirmed that floating wetlands can improve water quality and provide vital habitat.

The proposed sale of the abandoned Damen Silos is drawing opposition from environmental and community groups. (WTTW News)

“Any riverfront improvement opportunity should be part of a master plan that recognizes the Chicago River system as the wondrous natural resource it is rather than the uncared for alleyway it used to be,” said Friends of the Chicago River.

A floating wetland under construction on the South Branch of the Chicago River. Industrial use has stripped the channel of most of its natural vegetation. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The area around Bubbly Creek was once a wetland, until the channel became choked first with sewage and then animal waste from the Union Stockyards. Now the wetlands, with a twist, are making a comeback.

Crew members from SailGP prepare to install native aquatic plants in the Chicago River. (Friends of the Chicago River)

Members of the SailGP international yacht racing league have converged on Chicago for an upcoming competition, but before taking their catamarans onto Lake Michigan this weekend, the athletes piled into canoes and helped install native aquatic plants along the Chicago River's banks.

Red swamp crayfish pulled from the Chicago River during May 15 cleanup. (Twitter / @Bates-Jefferys)

In its 30-year history, Friends of the Chicago River’s annual cleanup has evolved from a focus on litter to invasive species. An invasive crayfish pulled from the river over the weekend highlights the work to be done.

Artist Ben Miller with his painting of the Chicago River, created on the Riverwalk, April 3, 2022. (Courtesy of Friends of the Chicago River)
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Artist Ben Miller cast a portrait of the Chicago River using just fishing gear. Here’s the big reveal.