When the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland caught on fire in 1969, Time Magazine had this to say: Some river! Chocolate-brown, oily, bubbling with subsurface gases, it oozes rather than flows. “Anyone who falls into the Cuyahoga does not drown,” Cleveland’s citizens joke grimly. “He decays.”
Today, much of the river meets water quality standards and it is a positive element of the downtown Cleveland scene. Boaters and fishermen are common, and bald eagles can be seen in the area.