The North and South branches of the river have distinct personalities:
Multiple canoe and kayak rental outfitters operate from the river’s north branch, downtown and in Chinatown, just south of downtown. And enthusiasts are even planning a competitive swim in the river. In these areas, people worry not about pollution but rather the risk of collision between water taxis, tour boats, kayakers and pleasure boats.
In the dirtier water downstream, barges filled with limestone, sand or other heavy material dominate the river, and most residents keep their distance.
Both Little Village and the Calumet River corridor are designated industrial zones, and residents would like to see green industrial development such as solar farms and light manufacturing. They’d also love to have riverside cafes or parks, [resident Olga] Bautista said, but that dream feels far off.
Of course, the Potomac is so much cleaner, isn't it? Never mind the Anacostia...