Entries from Down Chicago’s Drain tagged with 'Chicago River'

Riverwalk Under Way

A short film by Sasaki Associates describes the progress of the new Riverwalk path along the Chicago River Chicago Riverwalk Under Construction from Sasaki Associates on Vimeo....

River of Kool-Aid

Chicago is famous for its unusual way of celebrating St. Patrick's day by dumping green dye in the Chicago River. A few years ago I made it downtown early to watch how it happens. Here's a timelapse movie of the...

Chicago River Day

The weather was cool but sunny for yesterday's annual Chicago River Day. We met up with friends at Horner Park this year to pick up trash along the river bank. Horner Park has always been a bit of a...

Freedom on the River

The Sun Times tells the charming story of the only river squatter in Chicago. Paul Buschauer has been living rent-free on his boat for the parts of the last fifteen years, tied up in various out-of-the way stretches of...

Challenges of the Chicago River

In an interesting article in OnEarth magazine, Matthew Power summarizes the challenges facing the future of the Chicago River and the city of Chicago. From the massive project to complete the Deep Tunnel, to the push to clean the wastewater...

Lake Michigan's Drain

WBEZ reports on a recent press conference by the Army Corps of Engineers predicting that if the current Midwestern drought continues long enough, Lake Michigan water levels will fall below the gradient of the Chicago River, effectively re-reversing the river...

Messing About in Boats

Here are some photos from Saturday's Guerrilla Flotilla on the Chicago River behind Goose Island: There were seven homemade boats that made it to the river to go for a little float. Yly's trailer raft proved unstable and promptly flipped...

Like a Secondhand Sea

I didn't hear of this event in time to get a chance to see it. Pocket Guide to Hell, creators of commemorative historical reenactments, staged a street pageant in honor of the meeting of the Chicago River and Lake...

Return of the Guerilla Flotilla

Its been several years since the last Guerrilla Flotilla, but I just heard that Carl Boyd is reviving the DIY boat party on the Chicago River! Time to make a new trashboat from recycled alley finds!...

River Pollution of the Past

Today's Chicago Tribune has a full-page feature about the history of pollution in the Chicago River, specifically that most colorful and polluted tributary known as Bubbly Creek, which drained run-off from the Stockyards. The most fascinating part of the article...

America's Most Endangered Rivers

Today American Rivers released its annual list of 10 most endangered rivers in America. For the last 26 years the environmental advocacy group has compiled a list to raise awareness of rivers which can be improved by public support. Last...

Chicago River Swimmers

Good news for future swimmers of the Chicago River: the EPA has declared that Illinois must now make the river clean enough to be swimmable. The Chicago River was once a heavily industrialized waterway, but nowadays the prime source of...

Recreation on the River

Will the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District finally be forced to clean up the Chicago River? According to a recent Chicago Tribune article, a meeting earlier this month by the Illinois Pollution Control Board changed the official designation of areas...

Chicago River Wrap-Up

Chicagoist provides a concise summary of how plans to stop the Asian Carp are tied to the future of the Chicago River. Also, an excellent two-part article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel which tells the history of the Chicago...

Re-reversal of the Chicago River

Last week's discovery of a carp in Lake Calumet has added extra urgency to plans for separating the Great Lakes and Illinois River ecosystems. At the Shedd Aquarium on Friday Senator Dick Durbin announced a bill to be introduced this...

Swimming in the Chicago River

The Chicago Tribune reports today on a surprise letter sent to the state of Illinois, the EPA and Obama administration recommended that the Chicago River be made clean enough for swimming. Environmental groups have long argued that water from...

Why a Dirty River is Green

As reported in today's Tribune, the Water Reclamation District just completed a study which concludes that fully cleaning the wastewater from the city's sewage plants would increase their carbon footprint and therefore be bad for the environment. So the...

Carp's Day in Court

On Tuesday the Supreme Court refused to hear Michigan's case against Illinois which sought to close the waterway connecting to the Great Lakes to block passage of Asian Carp into Lake Michigan. Also on Tuesday the Army Corps of...

Carp in Court

A Washington Post article details the lawsuit filed by the State of Michigan against Illinois to close off the water connection of the Chicago and Calumet Rivers to Lake Michigan. The lawsuit also challenges Chicago's exemption from the Great Lakes...

Don't Eat the Fish

Yet another study has found pharmaceuticals in the tissues of fish caught in the Chicago River near the outlet of the North Side sewage treatment plant, according to a Tribune article. The new research has shown the presence of pharmaceuticals...

Stunt Dog Skis the River

I missed seeing this dog last week, but here's a silly video of a waterskiing dog tearing up and down the main stem of the Chicago River....

Green River

On Saturday Nathan & I headed downtown early to see the annual dying of the Chicago River for St. Patrick's Day. I'd never come down early enough before the parade to see the Plumbers Union dump the flourescent dye...

Carp Not Welcome Here

An Alliance for the Great Lakes report released today warns that there is not enough protecting the Great Lakes from invasive species such as Asian carp. Currently an underwater electric barrier at Lockport is the only defense keeping the...

Water on the Radio

WBEZ's 848 devoted a program today to the future of Chicago's water supply. You can listen online on the WBEZ website. A part of the program was the mini-documentary The End of the Pipe, which summarizes how Chicago's water supply...

Another reason not to swim in the river

Today a live American Alligator was found in the Chicago River at Bubbly Creek! Apparently it was living happily there, with lots of fish to eat. Who knows how it got there, or how long it had been there?...

Movable Bridges of the South Branch

Last Sunday I went on one of the tours put on for the city Great Places & Spaces architecture festival. As usual we arrived at 7am to join a block-long line of architecture fans waiting to sign up on the...

Streets & San in the News

In the Sun Times: Yesterday the Chicago Streets and Sanitation Department unveiled a new boat to be used on the Chicago River. The Scavenger 2000 is a 38-foot, one-person craft which features a bow which opens to become a...

Riverwalk

The City of Chicago will soon start construction adding to the riverwalk along the main stem of the Chicago River. Aside from short disconnected segments of sidewalk along the river, the riverwalk is a walking and biking trail connected to...

When the Geese Return to Goose Island

Edwin Way Teale writes in his book North With the Spring, "Spring advances up the United States at the average rate of about fifteen miles a day. It ascends mountainsides at the rate of about a hundred feet a day....

Twenty percent

The other day I went to a talk in Rogers Park, part of a new series put on by the 49th Ward Green Corps. Of the three speakers, I found most interesting the talk by Debra Shore, one of the...

The Portage - Day 3

All night long the rain fell by the cupful and bucketful, but we felt clever at finding this little hiding place under the bridge. The humidity was so high nothing really dried out, but at least it didn't get wetter....

Combined Sewer Outflow - Day 2

Sunday morning dawned with waves of drizzly clouds. From our camp we woke early and decided to go across the river to Maxwell Street Market to look for some odds & ends, like a new lighter, batteries, a 15mm socket...

Churning flatwater - Day 1

Saturday morning started off cool and clear. The weather for the last few days was such an improvement over the heat and humidity of the previous week. The boat was pretty much ready to go from our work on Friday...

Source of the Chicago River

The other day I rode up to see the source of the Chicago River. The river has several branches and forks, and its natural source lies far to the north near the Wisconsin border, flowing through the Skokie Lagoons and...

Launch Point

The Army Corps of Engineers has all the navigation charts for the Illinois & Chicago Rivers online in pdf format. I knew I'd seen these a few years ago, but it took a while to re-find them: www2.mvr.usace.army.mil/NIC2/ilwwcharts.cfm...