Let’s Lift A Toast To The Burning River

If Great Blue Herons are part of your quality of life, please join me in lifting a toast to the Cuyahoga River. When the river caught on fire in Cleveland 40 years ago today, it became a tipping point in rallying support for passage of the Clean Water Act. Even Richard Nixon had to concede that something needed to be done to curb the pollution of our waterways. Eventually the fish came back, and the herons followed. What am I drinking tonight? A Cleveland microbrew called Burning River Pale Ale.

Be not deceived. This isn't 1969, or you'd see psychedelic colors. This is the Cuyahoga River fire on Nov. 3, 1952. I haven’t found a good image from 1969, which was a flash in the pan by comparison. [Source: Cleveland State University Library/Ohio History Central]

Be not deceived. This isn’t 1969, or you’d see psychedelic colors. This is the Cuyahoga River fire on Nov. 3, 1952. I haven’t found a good image from 1969, which was a flash in the pan by comparison. [Source: Cleveland State University Library/Ohio History Central]

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One Response to Let’s Lift A Toast To The Burning River

  1. Mark Willis says:

    Many Gulls Die After Oil Spills Into River in Ohio

    June 27, 2009 via NYT:

    CLEVELAND (AP/NYT) — Hundreds of gulls were killed or maimed in Cleveland after what investigators believe was cooking oil spewed from a sewer pipe into the Cuyahoga River.

    Investigators said Friday that several hundred gallons of the substance killed or disabled hundreds of gulls near the Kingsbury Run tributary.

    Most of them were just downstream from the site where environmentalists last week celebrated the river’s comeback since floating oil and debris caught fire on June 22, 1969. The burning river became a standing joke and a symbol of urban decay and runaway pollution.

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