Add Your Voice to Recovery on Water (ROW)

Our partners at Recovery on Water (ROW), a nonprofit rowing team that gives breast cancer patients and survivors the unique opportunity to interact and become active in their recovery, is seeking signatures in support of their expected petition before the Illinois Pollution Control Board (IPCB) to formally elevate water quality standards on Bubbly Creek, the South Branch, and portions of the Sanitary and Ship Canal; making those waterways as protective of water recreators as the standards elsewhere in the Chicago River. Friends is in support of this effort.

ROW is gathering the required 200 signatures to ensure the petition receives a full hearing on the PCB’s docket.

The petition will be filed with the IPCB on behalf of ROW by the Abrams Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School. If you would like to sign Recovery on Water’s petition to amend the water quality standards in the South Side waterways, please send an email to Simone Gewirth ( with the following information:

  • Full name
  • Email address
  • Home address
  • Attach an image of your handwritten signature

Before the final petition is submitted, the Clinic will reach out to the signatories with a copy of the petition to reaffirm or withdraw their signature. The signature sign-up sheet will include the following text:

“Yes, I would like to join Recovery on Water’s petition to amend the water quality standards in the South Side waterways that ROW uses. I support the effort to amend the list of Primary Contact waters in 35 Ill. Adm. Code 303.220 so that it will include (1) the South Fork of the South Branch of the Chicago River (Bubbly Creek) and (2) the upper reach of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. I further support the effort to delete those waterways from the list of Incidental Contact Recreation Waters in 35 Ill. Adm. Code 303.225 and to amend 35 Ill. Adm. Code 302.401 to eliminate Bubbly Creek’s special exemption from bacterial limits.

Please add my signature to the petition that is submitted to the Illinois Pollution Control Board. I have provided my email below so that I may receive and review the petition prior to it being submitted to the Board.”

Contact Simone Gewirth ( with questions. To learn more about primary and secondary contact with waterways, see the bottom of page 2 in the EPA handbook (section 2.1.3 Recreation).