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.

A sucker tagged and released for study in a new research project. (Courtesy Shedd Aquarium)

Shedd researcher Karen Murchie has been singing the praises of suckers for years in service of drawing more attention to the overlooked fish. Now the broader scientific community is taking note. 

A baby Blanding’s turtle, raised at Shedd Aquarium its first year, awaiting release into the wild, where the state-endangered species' population has been in steep decline. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Nearly a dozen baby Blanding’s turtles — a state-listed endangered species — were recently released into the swampy waters of a Cook County forest preserve wetland.

Granddad, in livelier days at the Shedd Aquarium. (Shedd Aquarium)

We all knew that Granddad, the Shedd Aquarium’s long-lived Australian lungfish, was an old-timer. Now, five years after he shuffled off to the big fish tank in the sky, Granddad’s true age has been revealed.

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.

Lumpsuckers at the Shedd Aquarium. (Shedd Aquarium)

The Shedd Aquarium recently welcomed a group of lumpsuckers, a fish that’s weird in so many ways, it’s hard to know where to start.

Chuoy the buoy, reporting for data-monitoring duty in Lake Michigan off the Chicago shoreline. (Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant)

Anchored a mile off Navy Pier, Chuoy the Buoy fills a Chicago-sized gap in shoreline monitoring. Swimmers, boaters, anglers, researchers and meteorologists alike will benefit from data collected close to the city’s lakefront.   

Floating habitat being positioned on the Chicago River. (Shedd Aquarium / Brenna Hernandez)

A trio of measures introduced at Wednesday’s Chicago City Council meeting would allocate a total of $2.5 million toward habitat and open space improvement projects.

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.

(WTTW News)
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Delivering on a promise she made when the owners of the Chicago Bears announced their purchase of the Arlington International Racecourse property, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the members of a working group tasked with reimagining the city’s lakefront museum campus.

(Provided)

That transformation will be both physical, encompassing major interior renovations to create immersive exhibits, but will also entail a transformation of mission with more educational programming for Chicago school students.

Shedd Aquarium's Maggie Cooper demonstrates proper sawing technique during a work day at Skokie Lagoons. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Skokie Lagoons may look like an oasis of green but a lot of that lush vegetation is actually an invasive species called European buckthorn. WTTW News tagged along as a group of volunteers charged into the thicket and tackled this enemy. 

Rough waves coughed up the remains of one of Lake Michigan’s most troubling invasive species, quagga mussels. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Recent storm waves stirred up deposits of invasive mussels from the bottom of Lake Michigan and brought them ashore, begging the question: Would you know a quagga mussel if you saw one?

A mantis shrimp grabs a mollusk shell at the Shedd Aquarium on Sept. 20, 2021. (WTTW News)

There are hundreds of species of mantis shrimp — crustaceans measuring anywhere from 1-12 inches long. The peacock mantis shrimp, indigenous to the waters of Indonesia, has a specific trait that humans are trying to replicate. 

Volunteers are needed for beach cleanups in September. (Courtesy of Shedd Aquarium)

As beach season winds down in Chicago, the Shedd Aquarium is hosting a series of weekend cleanups to clear the shoreline of a summer’s worth of litter and debris.

(Courtesy of Plastic Pollution Coalition)

Strides being made against the use of plastic products were derailed by the coronavirus pandemic. Now, a global campaign is encouraging people to choose reusable materials over single-use plastic and get the reduction back on track.