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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.

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Rush Street has proposed a Rivers Casino as part of the under-construction 78 development on vacant land between the South Loop and Chinatown along the Chicago River. (Provided)

If a casino is coming to the riverfront, publicly accessible open green space should be a priority, as well as considerations for wildlife habitat, environmental advocates say. And the buildings themselves should be held to the highest standards of sustainability and climate resiliency.

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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.

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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.

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(WTTW News)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has allocated $225.8 million to the Brandon Road Lock and Dam invasive carp barrier. The funds will complete the planning and engineering phase of the project.

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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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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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Juvenile channel catfish released into the Chicago River on May 12, 2015. (Friends of the Chicago River)

Two organizations have joined forces to release nearly 200,000 fish into the Chicago and Calumet waterways over the past two years.