Letter from Mayor Emanuel

Mayor Rahm Emanuel

As Mayor and on behalf of the City of Chicago, I am pleased to offer my full support of Our Great Rivers. Chicago takes immense pride in its lakefront and rivers as they are a true testament to conservation, stewardship and planning. Our lakefront and rivers are a source of civic pride that bring neighborhoods together and have become a focal point for new jobs and productivity. The Riverwalk has transformed our downtown landscape into a shining example of what is possible when we create public spaces that give people reasons to use them.

My administration works tirelessly to provide recreational opportunities for our residents and visitors, accommodate commercial and industrial users, and attract new businesses that see our rivers as a fundamental element of ensuring a quality work environment for their employees. Our partners at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago and the Forest Preserves of Cook County have made comparable investments along the Calumet and Des Plaines rivers to improve water quality, reduce flooding and increase public access and recreational programming.

The Calumet, Chicago and Des Plaines rivers are already tremendous assets to the Chicagoland area, but they hold the potential for much more. We have made great progress, and I’m pleased to present this vision and action agenda, Our Great Rivers. Working with the Metropolitan Planning Council, Friends of the Chicago River and the volunteers on the Leadership Commission and technical Resource Group, my administration has reviewed past policies and developments, and engaged thousands of Chicago residents and river stakeholders to share with us the current challenges and future hopes for our rivers.

On behalf of the City of Chicago, I invite you to find your place on Chicago’s great rivers, for all of us and future generations.


Mayor Rahm Emanuel

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