The Cuyahoga River was born from ice, nearly ruined by fire and reborn with sweat and determination.
Formed by glaciers in the last ice age, the river became polluted during the Industrial Revolution, and infamously caught the attention of Time Magazine in 1969 when it burned. It was said of the Cuyahoga that it “oozes rather than flows.”
Since then, the many actors dedicated to the river’s well being, with help from legislation such as the Clean Water Act in 1970, worked to bring the river back to a more pristine state. Today, a healthier Cuyahoga is used increasingly for recreation like fishing, boating and kayaking and is a major source of drinking water for municipalities along its banks.
This multimedia journalism project, created by Journalism and Digital Sciences students in Kent State’s Spring 2014 Web Programming for Multimedia Journalism class, aims to explore the river and its story. Through interviews with local officials, park supervisors, business owners, neighbors, advocates, volunteers, recreation enthusiasts and other river devotees, we examined a wide variety of issues.
Scroll down to read about dam removal, combined sewer overflows, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, drinking water from the Cuyahoga, the river’s volunteers and advocates, and people who live along the river.