Native plants added to Chicago River to improve water quality, fish habitat

A special effort on the Chicago River aims to improve fish habitats and clean up the water.

The group "Friends of the Chicago River" was joined Wednesday by athletes from SailGP, as in grand prix. They launched on the north branch of the river to plant 300 native plants.

The athletes are in Chicago from all over the world to race on Lake Michigan this weekend.


On Wednesday, they were wading on the river, hoping to help the local volunteers improve the environment.

"We are planting water willow and bull rush today. They spread through rise zones, so putting one plant in the ground can mean that you're going to have a bunch in the future. So we get really lush colonies that can provide habitat for fish and otters and mix and things like that," a volunteer said.

The SailGP volunteers will race on the lakefront this Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.