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Staff 07-01-2009 04:56 PM

From the Ashes of ’69, a River Reborn
From the Ashes of ’69, a River Reborn
By Christopher Maag
Published: June 20, 2009

excerpts from above:

“The Cuyahoga River fire was a spark plug for environmental reforms around the country,” said Cameron Davis, who was recently appointed to become the special adviser to the E.P.A. on Great Lakes environmental issues.

The fire turned Cleveland into “The Mistake by the Lake,” a national punch line that would endure for decades. Meanwhile, the city worked to reclaim its river.

“This didn’t happen because a bunch of wild-haired hippies protested down the street,” Mr. Perrecone said. “This happened because a lot of citizens up and down the watershed worked hard for 40 years to improve the river.”

Problems remain, however. The E.P.A. sued the City of Akron in February for dumping excessive amounts of sewage into the Cuyahoga. Along the last 5 of its 100 miles, the river is enclosed by steel walls and dredged regularly for commercial ships, making it difficult for habitats to recover.
“The good news is that we know what the problems are, and we know what the solutions are,” Mr. Davis said. “Now it’s a matter of getting the funding, rolling up our sleeves and doing the work.”

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