After years of clean-up efforts, the Ashtabula River in Ohio is no longer considered one of the “most environmentally degraded” areas in the Great Lakes Region thanks, in part, to Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) funding. The cleanup was a large integrated effort between the EPA, U.S. Corps of Engineers, Ohio EPA, the Ashtabula City Port Authority, and others, and included the removal of massive amounts of contaminated sediment from the bottom of the river, the installation of 2,500 feet of fish habitat, and remediation of the Fields Brook Superfund site.
“This is a clear example of how federal funding is producing results in local communities toward safe, clean drinking water, increasing recreational opportunities, and accelerating clean-up efforts in some of the most polluted communities in the region,” said Laura Rubin, director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “We are thrilled with the delisting and realize that there are other toxic sites around the region that continue to pollute the water, poison drinking water, and make the fish unsafe to eat. The additional $1 billion for the GLRI in the recently passed bipartisan infrastructure bill will continue and expand this important work for the health and safety of the region.”