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Cuyahoga River Area of Concern

Cuyahoga SWCD serves as the Facilitating Organization for the Cuyahoga River Area of Concern Advisory Committee.

To learn more about the Cuyahoga AOC visit: Cuyahogaaoc.org

Bringing 1 river, 21 subwatersheds, and 10 miles of Lake Erie shore back to health

The lower 46.5 miles of the Cuyahoga River, including all the tributaries that drain to that section of river, and the adjacent Lake Erie shoreline and its direct tributaries, comprise the Cuyahoga River Area of Concern. The AOC begins at the head of the Gorge Dam pool in Akron/Cuyahoga Falls, ends at Lake Erie, and includes the shoreline from the western Cleveland border to Euclid Creek on the east.

The Cuyahoga River is one of the Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOC) – waters in the U.S. and Canada that have experienced environmental degradation, fail to meet the objectives of the U.S.- Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA,) and are impaired in their ability to support aquatic life or beneficial uses. The GLWQA required that each of the Areas of Concern develops a Remedial Action Plan (RAP) to identify the Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs) and their causes, develop criteria for restoration, implement remedial measures, monitor the effectiveness of such measures, and confirm that restoration is achieved. There are currently 8 “De-listed” AOC’s throughout the Great Lakes Watershed, Many more with their remedial measures (Management Actions) completed, and a plan forward to most to be delisted within the next decade pending resource allocations and successful associated BUI removals.

The Cuyahoga River AOC has 7 remaining Beneficial Use Impairments. (See the list at “The Plan and Targets.“) Three of the original ten impairments – Aesthetics, Public Access, and Restrictions on Fish Consumption – are deemed no longer to be impaired, and have been removed from the list. OhioEPA and the Ohio Lake Erie Commission are the state agencies in charge of delisting Ohio’s four AOCs (Cuyahoga, Ashtabula, Black, and Maumee.) Each AOC has a local stakeholder committee. The Cuyahoga AOC Advisory Committee serves that purpose. The committee includes dozens of stakeholders – agencies, park systems, watershed stewardship groups, businesses, and individuals – involved in implementing the plan.

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