July 8, 2019
Celebrating the Comeback of the Burning River, 1969-2019
To many, the Cuyahoga River fire on June 22, 1969 represents a turning point for environmental regulation. This river caught the attention of a nation due to excessive water pollution. Certainly not the worst, it was thrust to the forefront as a symbol of environmental degradation. With the formation of the U.S. EPA in 1970 and passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972, changes were in store for all waterways in the United States. In addition to the Clean Water Act, the Cuyahoga River was one of 43 Areas of Concern identified by the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. These programs and regulations were focused on improving the lives of those both in and near the water. Now 50 years later, how is this river doing in its recovery “fueled” by local, state and federal partners?