Cleveland State University’s Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs is hosting “Smoke on the Water: Five Decades of Progress Restoring Great Lakes Rivers” on Thursday, May 23.
By the late 1960s, every major river that flowed through cities in the Great Lakes basin was ecologically compromised by years of industrial pollution, soil erosion and invasive species. While terrible, the media coverage surrounding the 1969 fire on the Cuyahoga River that occurred as a result of this pollution was credited with spurring passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent since to restore the Great Lakes rivers, and the results can be seen not only in the waterways themselves but in the communities surrounding them.
As part of the Levin College Forum series, this event will bring together keynote speaker Dr. John Hartig,a visiting scholar at the University of Windsor’s Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research (GLIER), and a panel of experts with deep experience surrounding Great Lakes river issues, environmental policy and its overall impact on community development and growth.
The event, which is free and open to the public, begins at 4 p.m. in the Levin College of Urban Affairs, Roberta Steinbacher Atrium. Registration is requested.
Hartig is a leading international expert on fresh water ecology and environmental cleanup policy. On top of his position at the GLIER, he is the Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Global Governance at the Balsillie School of International Affairs.Previously, he served as refuge manager for the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. Hartig has received a number of awards for his work and has authored or co-authored over 100 publications on the environment, including five books.
Local panelists Jennifer Grieser, Jim Kastelic, Dr. Wendy Kellogg and Steve Litt will speak about restoration efforts over the last 50 years for the Cuyahoga. Grieser is the senior natural resources manager at the Cleveland Metroparks and currently serves as chair of the Cuyahoga Area of Concern Advisory Committee. Kastelic is an executive in residence at the Levin College and has previously worked for the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission, the Cleveland Metroparks and the Trust for Public Land. Kellogg is a professor of urban planning and environmental studies at the Levin College. Litt joined The Plain Dealerin 1991 as the newspaper’s art and architecture critic. His current beats include art museums and galleries, architecture, urban design and city and regional planning.