Petcoke: Why it’s here, where it’s going, and how it affects our city

As you may have seen in the news, various government and community entities throughout Chicago have mobilized around the controversial storage of petroleum coke, or “petcoke”, on the Southeast side. This ashy material is a byproduct of the refinement process turning Canadian oil into gasoline, which is transported to Chicago from BP’s Whiting, IN refinery just over the Illinois-Indiana state border. 

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Friends Receives Large Grant for Fish Habitat

Today the Chi-Cal Fund announced $1 million in grants.  Friends of the Chicago River was pleased to learn that we were one of four organizations selected. Friends will receive $300,000 for in-stream habitat structures to enhance fish populations in the Chicago Area Waterway System.  Friends of the Forest Preserves received $271,313  to support coordination of the Centennial Network and will partner with us to help restore five sites along the river's banks.

 

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Tribune Supports Horner Park

The Chicago Tribune joined the ranks of supporters who want to see the massive riverbank restoration project at Horner Park go forward. The project, underway for over a decade, will greatly improve the river by regrading the steep bank and creating a native ecosystem where at present invasive plants prevail. There will also finally be access to the river at the park.

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Discovering the Bridgehouse Museum

Friends of the Chicago River opened the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum to great fanfare in 2006 with a ribbon cutting with Mayor Richard M. Daley, a grand gala, and a host of other celebratory activities. Since then over 60,000 people have visited this one-of-kind singular museum.

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Chicago Announces $50 Million Green Infrastructure Plan

Today Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a new water infrastructure plan that commits $50 million to green infrastructure that allows stormwater to infiltrate into the ground. His action will reduce the amount of pollution to the Chicago River by reducing the amount of stormwater that flows into our combined sewer system, and ultimately the Chicago River, picking up pollutants along its way.

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Stormwater Ordinance Passes!

After years of advocacy by Friends of the Chicago River, the Environmental Law & Policy Center, Sierra Club of Illinois, Center for Neighborhood Technology and Openlands, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago adopted a new Watershed Management Ordinance Thursday, October 3 that is essential for preventing floods, protecting wetlands and safeguarding our rivers and streams.

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Chicago River Wildlife Cruise a Total Sell Out

On September 28, Friends' education manager, Mark Hauser, served as a key expert on the Chicago Tribune's second Chicago River Wildlife Cruise. This time they traveled down the South Branch to Bubbly Creek spotting a multitude of birds and other creatures including black crowned and great blue herons.

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