Friends of the Chicago River is committed to caring for and improving the Chicago-Calumet River system for people, plants, and animals.
The river system is healthier than it’s been in 150 years, but litter remains a persistent problem detrimental to water quality, decreases the safety of critical habitat and diminishes the beauty of our region.
That’s why Friends is dedicated to creating a Litter Free Chicago-Calumet River system. We know it’s not easy and takes collaboration and coordination, but we are known for successfully tackling big challenges in the past, from improving wastewater treatment to removing dams.
Experience has proven we can do anything if we all do our part, encourage and support each other and harness the power of collective action. Here are some ways that we can take action and move towards a litter free river system:
When volunteers started Chicago River Day in 1992 the river was a badly neglected dumping ground for everything from cars to household waste.
In the last 30 years we have come a long way in understanding that we are all connected and there is no “away” for trash thrown in the river.
Now we are dealing with the new issue of single use plastics which create mountains of waste and end up broken down into smaller and smaller pieces until they end up in fish, birds, and each one of us, creating a host of health problems.
The will to solve this problem is evident, we see it in the thousands of dedicated volunteers who make a difference on Chicago River Day and throughout the year.
We invite you to join us by doing what you can to contribute towards caring for the rivers that built our city and remain valuable natural resources for the health and well-being of our community.
When we all take care of our little piece of this beautiful planet, we are ensuring the health and wellbeing of current and future generations not just in our community, but to all those downstream.
Join us as we think globally and act locally working side by side with partners from all parts of our community from businesses, to places of worship, to pubic land managers to bring a Litter Free Chicago-Calumet River system to life.
This is a guest post by Annette Anderson, Volunteer, Events, and Canoe Program Manager, Friends of the Chicago River.
Image credits: Friends of the Chicago River