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More than a century after Upton Sinclair described a stretch of the Chicago River as “a great open sewer,” Bubbly Creek is still plagued by waste – and the restoration process has been mired in its own political muck.

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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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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.

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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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The Lathrop Riverfront Group held a kick-off paddle event along the Chicago River in fall 2018. (Courtesy Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago)

Environmentally sensitive development of the Chicago River system would sustain more than 1,600 jobs per year while also improving water quality and recreational space, according to a new study. 

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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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The Lathrop Riverfront Group holds a kick-off paddle along the Chicago River. (Courtesy Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago)

The Lathrop Riverfront Group was formed to promote the section of riverfront near the Julia C. Lathrop Homes, a Chicago Housing Authority project that is being redeveloped into a mixed-income riverfront community. 

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A section of the North Branch of the Chicago River in Edgebrook on Oct. 2, 2018 (Alex Ruppenthal / Chicago Tonight)

Overnight storms brought more than 1.5 inches of rain in parts of the Chicago area Monday night, prompting sewage discharges into several local rivers.

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(Chicago Tonight file photo)

A new federal grant aims to help educators use the Chicago River as a “living classroom” to teach students about water quality issues. 

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(Courtesy U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

An effort that began two decades ago to restore the banks of the North Branch of the Chicago River in Horner Park is finally complete.

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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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A waterfall at River Park in Chicago. (Courtesy One City Films)

Chicago is losing its last waterfall. We follow up on an earlier story to see the beginning of its demolition in River Park.

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A waterfall at River Park in Chicago. (Courtesy One City Films)

At River Park on Chicago’s Northwest Side, a concrete dam standing 4 feet high is being prepped for removal. But it’s not just any dam – this happens to be the last waterfall within Chicago city limits.

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(Courtesy Shedd Aquarium)

Shedd Aquarium is rolling out several new outdoor programs this summer aimed at bringing Chicagoans closer to local waters and aquatic life.

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Chicago has seen 6 inches of rain in June, well above the historical average, according to data from the National Weather Service. (Chicago Tonight)

Chicago has seen 6 inches of rain in June, well above the historical average of about 2.5 inches, according to data from the National Weather Service.