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Is the Mahoning River poised for a comeback?

Tom Smith is the board chair of the Friends of the Mahoning River, a group dedicated to making the river cleaner and safer for recreation.
Tom Smith is the board chair of the Friends of the Mahoning River, a group dedicated to making the river cleaner and safer for recreation. [Ryan Loew / Ideastream Public Media]

A popular narrative across Northeast Ohio is regarding the long journey of the Cuyahoga River.

A river that transformed from a place so dirty and polluted-- that it caught fire countless times during the first half of the 20th century,

To a waterway flourishing with wildlife and recreation, while remaining a commercial and industrial resource.

Environmental advocates hope to recreate that transformational tale with another body of water in the region, the Mahoning River.

That river flows through the eastern-most portion of Ohio, most notably through Youngstown, and into Pennsylvania.

It's story echoes that of the Cuyahoga. Unfortunately, it’s also been a dumping ground for waste for decades-- but now people are fishing in it, boating on it and working together to knock down the dams, so the river can flow freely, as it did in the days before many of the area’s steel mills.

The recent journey of the Mahoning River is the subject of a new series called "Changing the Course of a River" which you'll be hearing here, on 89.7 WKSU over the next few weeks.

We'll preview that series for the first portion of today's program.

Later in the hour, we discuss invasive species here in Ohio – from aggressive carp, to spotted lanternflies, and even invasive plant species.

Finally, we remember long time Northeast Ohio journalist and author, Michael Heaton, who passed away this weekend at age 66. 

- Jacqueline Marino, Professor of Media Studies, Kent State University

- John Navarro, Aquatic Stewardship Program Administrator, Ohio Department of Natural Resources

- Garrett Ormiston, Manager of Preserve Operations, Cleveland Museum of Natural History

- Jennifer Grieser, Director of Natural Resources, The Cleveland Metroparks

- Michael Heaton, Journalist and Author, and “Minister of Culture”

- Dee Perry, Former Host of “Sound of Applause”, WCPN