EnviroScience, Inc. was the proud sponsor of a recent National Public Radio affiliate WKSU forum in Cuyahoga Falls addressing the past, present, and future of the industrial age Gorge Dam that holds decades of built up toxic sediment in the middle section of the Cuyahoga River. The Cuyahoga River and the infamous 1969 Cleveland fire was a major impetus for creation of the USEPA and the 1972 Clean Water Act.
The Cuyahoga River’s water quality and biota have made tremendous gains over the past 40 years. EnviroScience has led several important projects that contributed to the improvement, including the 2013 removal of two smaller dams upstream of the Gorge Dam. Read more here.
With well over 200 community members, regulators, engineers, and environmental scientists in attendance, the forum touched on the feasibility of removing the Gorge Dam, the expected impact, and how the project would be funded. On-air personality WKSU science correspondent Jeff St. Clair kicked off the forum and introduced a panel of experts including representatives from Ohio EPA, Summit Metro Parks, and City of Akron.
“We’re amazed that we got to where we are today,” said Pat Gsellman, Environmental Division Manager, City of Akron. “If you go back in the 70s, nobody would have imagined the river in the condition that it’s in now. So now it’s time for us to reap the benefits of that, and this dam project is part of that.”
Removing the dam seems to be one of the final frontiers to restoring the river. A million dollar sediment analysis study funded by the USEPA shows that there are still areas of concern that need to be removed. City officials are still deciding on the best way to store the resulting leachate after dredging.
Watch the full forum here.