|
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)

Artist Ben Miller cast a portrait of the Chicago River using just fishing gear. Here’s the big reveal.

,
|
Ben Miller, demonstrating his technique of fly cast painting. (The Rhythms of the River / Manabu Inada)

Artist Ben Miller uses a unique technique called fly cast painting. He’ll be demonstrating it Sunday on the Riverwalk as he creates a portrait of the Chicago River.

|
The North Branch of the Chicago River, dyed a telltale green, March 13, 2022. (Provided)

Even with officials from several government entities keeping watch, someone dumped dye into the North Branch of the Chicago River, turning it bright St. Patrick's Day green over the weekend.

|
Dyeing the Chicago River green has been a St. Paddy's tradition since the 1960s. (Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade / Facebook)

Dyeing the Chicago River green on St. Patrick’s Day has been a tradition since the 1960s. But in 2020 and 2021, rogues extended the practice to a section of the North Branch, a bridge too far for environmentalists.

|
Fish species diversity has been increasing in the Chicago River. (Shedd Aquarium)

Back in the 1980s, the number of fish species found in the Chicago River could be counted on a single hand. Today, that number is up to 60 species, an increase in diversity that can be directly attributed to a decrease in wastewater pollutants, according to a new study from the Shedd Aquarium.

|
Chicago River tour boats are reflected by a building window in Chicago, Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. (AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh)

Rowers, kayakers and other users of the Chicago River are getting a real-time look at one measure of water quality in the system that weaves through downtown and several neighborhoods. 

|
Lake Michigan waves cover Chicago’s lakefront path in the summer of 2019. (WTTW News)

Because Chicago is situated in the middle of the country it would, at first glance, appear to be insulated from the worst effects of climate change. But a much-talked about report from environmental journalist Dan Egan pours cold water on that myth. He joins us with details.

|
A boat carries two- and four-legged passengers along the Chicago River on Wednesday, July 7, 2021. (WTTW News)

ComEd treated some hard-working members of its team to the ride of their lives as a way to educate the public about the utility company’s use of goats to manage overgrown vegetation around hard-to-reach power lines.

|
The American mink is equally at home on land or in the water. And despite its size, is not to be trifled with. (Jan Den Ouden / Pixabay)

The American mink is the poster critter for Chicago River Day, the annual cleanup hosted by Friends of the Chicago River that has volunteers fanning out from Lake County to Calumet to clear litter and trash from sites along the waterway. Here’s how to participate in Saturday’s event.

|
(Richard Schneider / Flickr)

Riverwalk bars, restaurants and other recreational vendors will open on a rolling schedule throughout the coming weeks, starting Friday with full service expected by the end of May, city officials said.

|
An aerial picture shot with a drone shows the Chicago River as it flows through downtown after it was dyed green in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. (Scott Olson / Getty Images)

Even with the second straight year of no parades in honor of the Irish inspired holiday, at least one Chicago tradition broke through.

|
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.