Posted Monday, June 22, 2009
“Fifty years ago the river boiled like a cauldron. This was all very black, and just constantly bubbling like a stew on a stove,” said Captain Wayne Bratton of Trident Marine, who worked on the river for 50 years. When TIME magazine reported on the fire in the August 1969 issue, it created environmental concern around the state and country. The river fire helped spur the environmental movement and led to the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972. We’ll talk to people who worked on river before and after the fire, those who pushed for the clean-up, and local officials who are working on sustaining the worlds’ largest single freshwater resource, the Great Lakes.
Environment, Other, Community/Human Interest
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Come to the unveiling of Building Bridges Settler’s Landing Mural at 12 pm Monday June 22nd
Thanks, Michael Scott and the PD, for investigating the whole sordid “river burning” story.
Yes, the river was foul and sometimes and in some spots covered with muck.
But, the RIVER didn’t start on fire. The oil slick did.
Carl Stokes’ PR crew did a little shorthand in telling the story to get national support.
it did accomplish its goal, which is good.
But Clevelanders shouldn’t let it add to its collective inferiority complex. (We have our professional sports teams for that) Just about every industrialized city at the time had a similar problem. We just became the poster child for the environmental movement.
As Mr. Scott points out in his article in today’s PD, Cleveland voters were the LEADERS in cleaning up pollution a year BEFORE the fire by voting to tax themselves $100-Million to clean up the Cuyahoga.
That was alot of money, especially when you consider inflation over 40 years.
We did that when other cities around the country were still debating whether or not pollution was a legitimate issue.
So, be proud, Cleveland, for taking the initiative to lead the country