Residents of Ashtabula, Ohio who are 25 years-old or younger have never been able to eat the local fish because of toxic waste dumped into the river. Ashtabula gets its name from the river that flows beside the city and into Lake Erie. Since 1983 permanent signs alerted residents and visitors not to eat the fish because for four prior decades industry dumped mercury, lead, PCB’s, PAH’s and the scary sounding radionuclides into the lower two miles of the river with abandon. The floor of the river was tragically contaminated and threatened not only its own fish, plants and wildlife but also the ecosystem of the Outer Harbor and Lake Erie. Many of the fish had tumors and spawned deformities, and wildlife disappeared, but just last summer the site reached its goal and is on the verge of being delisted by the EPA. It won’t be long now before residents will be able to enjoy their local bounty once more.
To read more about this Area of Concern, click here to go to the EPA’s website.