Death on the Chicago River
August 8th, 2017
After a recreational resurgence on the Chicago River, there’s been a setback. At least 15 mallard ducks have been found dead in recent days.
It’s the first case “large-scale” animal deaths in years that doesn’t have an obvious cause, according to river experts.
“Ducks are a great sign that the river ecosystem is on the rebound. So this is a serious concern,” George Brigandi, a director with Urban Rivers, told me. The nonprofit group installs floating gardens on the river to improve its beauty and habitat.
On Aug. 1, a paddler saw a dead duck but waited a few days to report it, according to Friends of the Chicago River. Brigandi saw dead birds the next day just south of the North Avenue Bridge.
The deaths were reported to Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, which investigated but was “unable to find them (the ducks) at the reported location,” according to a spokeswoman. “In these situations, time is of the essence so we strongly encourage the public to report these issues as soon as they see them.”
That answer doesn’t sit well with river enthusiasts. Read more in my Taking Names column in the Chicago Sun-Times.