Chicago officials took a “Big Jump”—literally, at the Saturday event designed to highlight improvements made upon the Chicago River’s water quality.
Community advocates and elected officials such as Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and Congresswoman Robin Kelly, made an appearance at Ping Tom Memorial Park.
“The river is a recreational resource, the river is alive with wildlife and the river belongs to all of us,” said Margaret Frisbie, Executive Director of Friends of the Chicago River. “We need to celebrate the river, protect the river and ensure that all Chicagoans can access it and enjoy it.”
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Commissioner Josina Morita partnered up with Friends of the Chicago River to host this event to ensure “that the Chicago River becomes swimmable for everybody someday,” she said.
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According to a statement released Saturday, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District said the water released into the river is cleaner than the river water itself due to the disinfection now in place.
“The district over 100 years ago used to dump raw sewage into the river,” Morita continued. “We now disinfect water from our O’Brien and Calumet plants that is cleaner than river water.”
President Preckwinkle said she was grateful that the community united.
“It’s good to promote what government does but it’s good to have partners in the volunteer community who help us both promote the river and take care of our natural resources,” Preckwinkle said.