In 1969 the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland caught on fire and earned Cleveland the nickname “Burning River City”. Ironically this was not the first time the river caught fire, it was the last. The first documented case of the river catching fire was in 1868! And the fires were a fairly regular occurrence. The industries along the river used it as a dumping ground for waste, chemicals, oil and other pollutants that could easily burn.
The 1969 fire lead to sweeping changes nationally and locally. There is a new 12 minute documentary video on You Tube called “Celebrating the Comeback of the Burning River, 1969 – 2019” that tells the story of the clean up and transformation and the work still to do long the river. There are talks to eventfully tearing down the Gorge dam and open the river back up to it’s natural flow.
Today the river is full of fish, used by boaters, rowing teams, and kayaks. The shore line thrives with the Flats which includes restaurants, bars, and clubs. A far cry from the alien and polluted environment it once was.
Take a look at the You Tube documentary to learn more.