“The lower Cuyahoga River in Cleveland was used for waste disposal, and was choked with debris, oils, sludge, industrial wastes and sewage. These pollutants were considered a major source of impact to Lake Erie, which was considered dead at the time.
On June 22, 1969 a river fire captured national attention. Time magazine described the Cuyahoga as the river that “oozes rather than flows” and in which a person “does not drown but decays.”
This event helped spur an avalanche of pollution control activities resulting in the Clean Water Act, Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, and the creation of the federal and state Environmental Protection Agencies.”
New EPA regulations coming in 2014 will further the goal of eliminating pollutants from our waterways, a challenge that we must all accept. Clean water is everybody’s business and the best place to start is by talking about it and becoming interested in the topic.