Dominic Mancuso's Editorial: Burning River woio - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Dominic Mancuso's Editorial: Burning River

(WOIO) -

It was June of 1969 -- 45 years ago -- when the Cuyahoga River, cluttered with pollutants, chemicals and floating debris, made national headlines by catching on fire.

The freak accident was one more sticking point to a city and region suffering through an image problem, adding yet another punchline, as well as a cautionary tale for other large industrial cities struggling to reach a balance between commerce and the environment.

But something else rose from the murkiness of a burning river, a national wakeup call. Many activists point to the Cuyahoga as the turning point in this country for passing tougher environmental legislation. The EPA used the disaster as a springboard to build activism. The river slowly came back to life, mirroring the community around it.

As for that old "mistake on the lake" knock against Cleveland, I invite anyone who's never been here to visit our amazing Metroparks system - one of the largest in America - and see the clear waters of the Cuyahoga River, thriving with fish and wildlife. To underestimate what this community has done in 45 years is the real mistake.

I'm Dominic Mancuso and that's how we see it.    


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