Chicago's movable bridges. Image from http://www.flickr.com/photos/spudart/452035169/
I, for one, am thrilled that someone is finally putting pressure on Illinois to clean up our act. When our waste enters the Chicago River, it (much like our garbage) doesn't just go "away." It goes into our river systems, diluted by Lake Michigan water, which lowers the Great Lakes water level. For being such a "green" city, Chicago needs to make the Chicago River's health a higher priority. We have a beautiful lakefront that attracts tourists, and our river could easily be an extension of the lakefront, drawing more sport and recreational users. The eyesore, currently reputed as toxic and infamous for being dyed green each St.Patty's Day, could become another natural attraction in Illinois.
The currently poor health of the river is no reason to ignore it. Riverside industries have no right to destroy the river, even if their pollution has been overlooked for years. I'm thrilled that the president's administration and EPA are forcing a long-overdue clean up of the river, because Daley obviously wouldn't initiate the change on his own. My hope is that Tye and my grandchildren will be able to enjoy a beautiful Chicago River some day.