Sun Times Editorial: Keep that upstream swim going for a cleaner Chicago River


Reggie Greenwood right before plunging into the Cal-Sag Channel at a celebrity plungers event in August 2016 that raised nearly $18k for the Cal-Sag Trail. The Cal-Sag serves as a channel between the Little Calumet River and the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.

Hard to imagine now, but swimming marathons in the Chicago River were popular early in the 20th century. Reversing the river’s flow in 1900 had cleaned up the water, and shipping had declined, clearing space for swimmers.

But in subsequent years, so much sewage, industrial waste and other pollutants fouled the river that when Mayor Richard J. Daley said in 1973 he hoped Loop workers could someday fish in the river on their lunch hours, experts laughed. So did we…Read more here.

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