Skip to main content

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Floating in the Chicago River was not always conceivable, but Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) Commissioner Josina Morita and Friends of the Chicago River hosted “Josina and Friends Summer Float Party” on August 22 to showcase a steady stream of progress for recreation in area waterways.

MWRD commissioners, community leaders and clean water advocates brought their favorite float, noodle, raft or kayak to the Dammrich Rowing Center in Skokie to commemorate healthy waterways and a restored habitat along the North Shore Channel.

Commissioner Morita was joined by MWRD Commissioners Debra Shore and Cam Davis in addition to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, State Senator Laura Fine, State Representative Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, Cook County Board of Review Commissioner Michael Cabonargi and representatives from the Village of Skokie, Village of Lincolnwood, and Skokie Park District to float amidst a resurgent population of fish, blue heron, ducks and other wildlife attracted to the improved water quality.

“We are out here to float because the Chicago River and waterways are for everybody. We should enjoy it,” said Commissioner Morita.

The MWRD constructed local waterways more than 100 years ago for the purpose of reversing the flow of the river with the main intent of providing drainage for the Chicago region and conveying wastewater. Today the Chicago Area Waterway System has never been healthier.

It has taken years of collaboration, investment, testing and innovation to improve the quality of the water to the level we see today. Because of the MWRD’s Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP), flooding has been mitigated and area water quality has been improving since the tunnels went
in service in the mid-1980s.

“Thanks to more than 130 years of service and dedication to improving water quality and thriving water resources, we can access our local waterways and take pride in our river and parks,” said President Kari K. Steele. Thank you to Commissioner Morita, our partners at Friends of the Chicago River and Skokie Park District for spotlighting these tremendous efforts.”


Press Release

Established in 1889, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) is an award-winning, special purpose government agency responsible for wastewater treatment and stormwater management in Cook County, Illinois.


For more information: