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Environment & Energy
Watershed
WKSU News marks the 50th anniversary with the series, Watershed.

Watershed: Listeners Share Memories of the Burning River

a photo of the Cuyahoga River near downtown Cleveland
CHARLES GUNDERMAN
A Goodtime cruise in August 1964 shows the Cleveland skyline with two bridges, one a railroad bridge and the other the Carter Road bridge over the oddly colored Cuyahoga River.

Starting on June 24, WKSU will begin a series of reports looking at the state of our local waterways including the Cuyahoga, Ashtabula, and Black Rivers as well as Lake Erie. As we prepared these reports, we asked listeners to share their memories of the time 50 years ago when the Cuyahoga River burned. You'll hear their recollections on air all week, and you can check them out here as well.  

a photo of Ed Kelly
Credit JEFF ST. CLAIR / WKSU
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WKSU
Ed Kelly used to work for the city of Cleveland and recalls counting how many pipes emptied into the Cuyahoga River as part of early attempts to regulate pollution.
a photo of Elaine Marsh
Credit JEFF ST. CLAIR / WKSU
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WKSU
Elaine Marsh founded the Friends of the Crooked River.

Watershed: Listeners Share Memories of the Burning River
Elaine Marsh on the Cuyahoga going back 60 years
A photo of Frank Samsel
Credit JEFF ST. CLAIR / WKSU
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WKSU
Frank Samsel launched the first clean-up service on the Cuyahoga River with his boat Putzfrau.

Watershed: Listeners Share Memories of the Burning River
River memories from Frank Samsel
a photo of Mark Weimer
Credit NATHAN REINECK / WKSU
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WKSU
Mark Weimer grew up with the Gorge Metro Park in his backyard. He became active in environmental activities as a high school student.

Watershed: Listeners Share Memories of the Burning River
Mark Weimer on his childhood memories of the river, growing up in Cuyahoga Falls
a screen shot of Walt Adams
Credit STANDING ROCK CULTURAL ARTS
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STANDING ROCK CULTURAL ARTS
Walt Adams appeared in a video about the history of the Kent Environmental Council.

Watershed: Listeners Share Memories of the Burning River
Walt Adams on the Cuyahoga River in Kent in 1970