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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.

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Heavy rains can overwhelm Chicago's sewer system. (Roman Grac / Pixabay)

The past few springs, Chicago has notched record-breaking rainfall totals. All that water has to go somewhere, and when it overwhelms the city’s sewers, untreated wastewater winds up in the Chicago River.

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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. 

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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Wet weather means it's time to minimize water entering the city's combined sewer system. (Vivek Jena / Flickr)

We’ve had a string of wet days, which stresses Chicago's combined sewer system. Here are conservation tips to minimize the chance of an overflow.

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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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MWRD Executive Director Brian A. Perkovich (Courtesy Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago)

The appointment of Brian Perkovich as head of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago comes five months after the abrupt – and unexplained – resignation of David St. Pierre. 

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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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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.