Chicago River featured in USA TODAY!

A tradition dating back to 1962, Chicago turns its river green by dumping roughly 40 pounds of a secret environmentally-friendly powder into the river. While environmental groups aren't necessarily worried about the effects of the powder they do worry about the message it sends about the river's health and status as a living part of our city.

As Friends of the Chicago River's Executive Director, Margaret Frisbie, told USA TODAY Network, "It started as a celebration of Chicago and it's Irish heritage but perhaps it's time to start considering new ideas. The Chicago River is much healthier and more accessible than it has been since the 1850s and it's continuing to improve every single year."

There are beavers, muskrats, turtles, fish and birds living in and near the river and while dyeing the river green may not injure the animals and the surrounding environment, Frisbie believes it sends a message to public that the river isn't full of wildlife that depend on it.

Read more about dyeing the Chicago River and other waterways around the country here.