Monday, June 22, 2009

A river runs cleanly through it

I've been out of action for a while - my laptop expired! :-( But I got back online today, just in time to find this great story on NPR. It documents the progress made in cleaning up the Cuyahoga River in Ohio, USA, over the last 40 years. Amazingly, this river was so polluted in the 1960s and 70s it caught fire (more than once). Most fish couldn't survive in the water, and it would certainly have been foolish to swim in it. But media coverage led to environmental activism, which in turn spawned regulation and ultimately the birth of the Environmental Protection Agency - and the Cuyahoga got cleaned up. Now, people kayak up and down the river, which is filled with all kinds of fish. As the NPR article points out, the waters aren't pristine, but they are much healthier. It seems the public spotlight is quite an effective bleaching agent!

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