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Watershed: The Legacy of the Burning River

photo of Cuyahoga River

This June marks the anniversary of a powerful moment in the American environmental movement.  50 years ago, Time Magazine included a story about how the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland had caught on fire.  This was not the first time that the river had burned.  In fact, it had happened numerous times over a number of years.  However, this was really the first time the story had been elevated to the national spotlight.  It proved to be a turning point in the way this country thinks about the environment.

WKSU News will mark the 50th anniversary with the series, Watershed.  The stories will dig into current state of not just the Cuyahoga, but two other Northeast Ohio rivers with industrial legacies, the Ashtabula and the Black. We’ll examine the current condition of the three waterways, and the opportunities and challenges that face them, their influence on life in the region and whether there’s a new generation to carry on the same spirit of environmental stewardship that was born 50 years ago.

Did you witness the 1969 fire or other times the river burned? Do you have stories of environmental damage to Northeast Ohio's waterways?  Please take our brief survey.