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Environment & Energy

Coast Guard Report Addresses Cuyahoga River Safety Concerns

A ship travels under the Norfolk Southern lift bridge on the Cuyahoga River.

The Coast Guard released a Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment (PAWSA) that identifies problems on the Cuyahoga River and suggestions for how they can be fixed. 

The Coast Guard consulted waterway users over the summer about problems they encounter on the Cuyahoga River. Commander Steven Elliot from the Coast Guard’s Marine and Safety Unit in Cleveland says the resurgence of waterfront businesses and recreational activities on the river has led to many of the safety concerns.

“Sometimes paddle craft operators and small vessel operators may not have very much formal maritime training," Elliott said. "They don’t understand the rules of the road; they don’t understand the dangers of being around large ships.”

The participants outlined suggestions for solutions, like installing a clock on the lift bridge at the mouth of the river to alert boaters of the next time it will rise. They also suggested creating a website specifically about boating safety on the area of the river near downtown Cleveland.  

See the full report below: