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The Blaze That Started It All

Cassie Kelly, June 21, 2019

On Sunday June 22nd, 1969, the City of Cleveland woke up to the Cuyahoga River ablaze after an oil slick caught fire. The fire lasted only about 30 minutes, but caught the nation’s attention and is credited for catalyzing the modern environmental movement. The fire also mobilized a group of Cleveland natives to jump start the Ohio Conservation Association- the OEC’s founding name. Fifty years later, we continue to fight for a cleaner environment and the Cuyahoga River has been named American Rivers’ 2019 “River of the Year.