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An Invitation from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: November 12, 2014

All those interested in the health of the Crooked River are encouraged to attend.

Hello from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Buffalo District:

You are invited to attend a poster session on Wednesday, November 12, 2014, in the Double Tree by Hilton, 6200 Quarry Lane, Independence, Ohio 44131. Members of the Buffalo District's project delivery team will be available between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. to answer questions regarding the Harshaw Chemical Company Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) Site and the upcoming deconstruction of Building G-1 to allow further investigation of the groundwater at the site.

The 55-acre Harshaw Chemical Company FUSRAP Site is located at 1000 Harvard Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio. From 1944 to 1959, the former Harshaw Chemical Company was contracted by the Manhattan Engineer District and the Atomic Energy Commission to produce uranium that was then sent to Oak Ridge, Tenn., for isotopic separation and enrichment. Building G-1 contained the major processing plants, the Refinery and the Brown Oxide Plant, which produced uranium trioxide and uranium dioxide respectively. Also located in Building G-1 were the uranium tetrafluoride and the uranium hexafluoride plant.

FUSRAP was initiated in 1974 to identify, investigate, and clean up or control sites throughout the United States that were part of the nation's early atomic energy program. The Corps of Engineers, as lead federal agency for FUSRAP, follows the phased process required in the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan. The Corps of Engineers is in the feasibility study phase of the CERCLA process at the Harshaw Chemical Company FUSRAP Site.

Additional information about the site is available at: and in the administrative record file for the Harshaw Chemical Company FUSRAP Site, which is available for review in the Cuyahoga County Library, Brooklyn Branch, 4480 Ridge Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144, (electronic version only) and the Cleveland Public Library, 325 Superior Avenue, N.E., Cleveland, Ohio 44114 (electronic and paper-copy version).

We look forward to talking with you at the poster session!


Arleen K. Kreusch, APR
Outreach Program Specialist
Special Projects Branch
Environmental Project Management Team
U. S. Army Corps of Engineers
1776 Niagara Street
Buffalo, NY 14207

Don't Miss RiverDay: May 17, 2014

Friends of the Crooked River and Cuyahoga River RAP join with many sponsors to announce the 24th annual RiverDay. We have 30 events in 19 locations—something for everyone, the whole day long! This year's theme is "Cuyahoga, A River of Expanding Opportunities."
See the brochure by clicking here, and stay tuned for updates!

Friends of the Crooked River Honored for "Environmental Activism"
Join us at the dinner, April 5!

For the past 16 years, Portage Park Foundation has sponsored an annual Portage County Environmental Conservation Awards Dinner. This year, Friends of the Crooked River is being honored for "Environmental Activism".

This is great honor for our organization. It would be outstanding if more of our members could attend. The cost of the dinner is $35/person.
The dinner will be held April 5 at the Kent American Legion, 1945 Mogadore Road, from 6 PM to 9 PM. It will feature a reception with music, silent auction, hors d’oeuvres featuring local foods, a buffet dinner, awards program and more.
For more information OR to register on line goto For additional questions, call or email the Park District at 330-297-7728;

2014 River Rat Revelry
Thursday, April 10, 6:30 PM

Don't miss this year's River Rat Revelry, Friends of the Crooked River's annual gathering and celebration of our river!
Program: Tails of the Trail: a 2014 River Odyssey
Progress and Challenges in Developing the Cuyahoga River Water Trail
Presenters: Andrew Lepp, PhD, Kent State University, Perceptions of Cuyahoga River Paddlers
Ed Stewart, Director Parks & Recreation, City of Cuyahoga Falls, The Dams are Down; What's Next in the Falls
John Cardwell, Sr. Landscape Architect, Cleveland Metroparks, Rivergate Park and Public Access in the Navigation Channel

Updates on Akron’s CSO’s, the Cuyahoga River Water Trail, Other Cuyahoga River news
Share Cuyahoga cheer with fellow river rats
Light refreshments will be served
Bring a dish to share
Where : Lions Lodge
641 Silver Lake Ave.
Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223

More info: See the flyer.

RiverDay, May 17, 2014

Mark your calendar for the 24th Annual RiverDay! As in past years, there will be educational, recreational, cultural, and cleanup events. Feed your interest, attend a couple of events, and learn more about Northeast Ohio's biggest and most important river! More details to come.

CSO Update

On January 17, 2014, Judge John Adams approved the Consent Decree between the City of Akron and the US EPA, allowing the city to move forward with its $1.4-billion project to eliminate discharges of raw sewage into the river during high rain events. The project is planned for completion in 2027.
More info: Akron Beacon-Journal article.

Dam Removal Update

The removal of the Sheraton and LeFever Dams is complete, begun on July 30 and ending roughly August 20. This section of river is no longer closed to the general public. For the first time in over a century, the river is looking like its old self!
Check out the City of Cuyahoga Falls website to see a time-lapse video (set to music!) of the removal the two dams.
Next on the agenda: the Gorge Dam?

Dam Removal Begins!

On Tuesday, July 30, RiverWorks made the first cuts in the Sheraton Dam. The dam was essentially removed by August 9, though cleanup continues. On August 13, the upstream LeFever Dam got its first cuts; as of August 15, this dam is also mostly gone, and the river is beginning to run free! Check out our Dam Update page for more info, and view the Cuyahoga Falls Dam Cam for real-time video.

Animated gif of the Sheraton Dam removal by Keel-hauler John Kobak.
Update: River Closure Extended
August 15, 2013
Contact: Valerie Wax Carr
Service Director
City of Cuyahoga Falls

Dam Demolition Process Continues

The demolition process of the two low head dams in Cuyahoga Falls continues. As stated before, the river construction zone begins at Water Works Park and continues to Prospect Bridge. The public is advised to stay out of the river, both in a personal manner and in a physical manner (i.e. watercraft). Unauthorized public entering the river in restricted areas may be subject to prosecution. The river contains debris that can be hazardous. Clean-up of large debris continues with crews working to separate the material. Dam debris are being removed from the river with a priority focus on capturing all rebar from the dams for safety reasons. The water is temporarily expected to take on a murky appearance; please be patient as the river begins its healing process and nature is allowed to take its course. The river will continually change over the next months with this process highly monitored as to when crews may have to intervene.

Notice: Closure of The Upper Gorge of the Cuyahoga

Reported by Dave Hill:
"This is just a heads up regarding river access during the dam removal activities in Cuyahoga Falls. The demolition contractor and the City of CF will be designating the area between the Route 8 bridge (Riverfront Park) and the downstream side of the Sheraton Hotel as a construction zone which is off limits to all unauthorized personnel (paddlers, etc).
"There will be signage and information kiosks along the closed section including designated viewing areas for the dam demolition activities. In addition, live video feeds will be available for remote viewing of the project. I will post a link to the video feeds once thay have been initiated.
"This map link shows the closure area which will begin June 10 through project completion."
Update! It's happening!…sort of.
The first cuts to the Sheraton Dam were scheduled to begin Wednesday, June 26; however, torrential rains led to high water, so the flow has to subside before work can proceed. Removal of the Sheraton Dam is expected to take two weeks, after which removal of the LeFever Dam is scheduled to take an additional two weeks.

Please Take The KSU Survey about Paddling in CVNP!

Attention Cuyahoga River Paddlers and Enthusiasts!

Take this survey, today!
Dear Cuyahoga River User:
The Cuyahoga River is a tremendous resource which brings life to the many communities through which it passes. Kent State University, like many of us in Northeast Ohio, is concerned for the health of the river and is working to improve it. In addition to providing recreational opportunities on the river, the university is active in research and management along its course.
As Cuyahoga Water Trail Partners, you are being invited to participate in a Kent State University approved study. The purpose of the study is to gather information related to managing the river for public use. Click here for the survey. (Survery will open in a new browser window or tab.) If you chose to participate, please click on the link and answer each question as accurately and honestly as possible. Participation is voluntary and all participants will remain completely anonymous. The survey will take 15 – 20 minutes to complete. Please complete the survey only once.
You are also invited to forward this invitation to your fellow paddling/canoeing/kayaking/etc. group members. If you choose to forward the invitation, then please let me know how many people you forwarded it to so that I can keep track of the number of invitations sent. I am the study’s primary investigator and a professor at Kent State University.
This project has been approved by the Kent State University Institutional Review Board. If you have any questions about your rights as a research participant or complaints about the research, you may call the IRB at 330.672.2704. If you have any questions or comments about the nature of the study or are curious about the results, please contact me by email (, phone (330-672-0218), or in person (316 White Hall).
Thank you for participation!
Andrew Lepp
Recreation, Park and Tourism Management

It is critical that we make our voices heard in this process. Take the survey today!

2013 Canoe Outings Schedule

Click here for the 2013 schedule. See the Crooked River up close and personal! The trip schedule is now complete. Come back next year for some great outings on the Crooked River.

Cuyahoga Dam Removal

Update: The Army Corps of Engineers has issued the permit for dam deconstruction. Dam removal will commence ASAP. Weather permitting, the removal of the Sheraton Dam will take place in June (2013), with the upstream LeFever dam to come down in July. See this article.
There were two public meetings on this project: Jan. 16 and Feb. 27. Both were well attended, and the plan for removing the dams was well received. Click here to view the presentation shown at the meetings.
Here's an article from the Akron Beacon Journal about the first public meeting, and here's a better article from the West Side Leader about the meeting.
See also this article about the project to remove the two Cuyahoga Falls dams. The project has been delayed some by the Army Corps of Engineers' permit process. The dams will likely be removed in 2013. See also this article by WKSU's Mark Urycki.

FoCR joins other organizations, including the EPA, in aiming to have the Gorge Dam removed; an engineering study may take place in 2015 or '16. The 68-foot, 101-year-old structure has trapped 832,000 cubic yards of sediment, twice the initial estimates. Here's an article from the Akron Beacon Journal about the Gorge Dam.

FOCR's Elaine Marsh gave a talk at the Keel-haulers Canoe Club in October. Here's an article about dam decommissioning on the Cuyahoga which grew out of her talk.

Cuyahoga CSOs

FOCR's Elaine Marsh wrote a letter to the editor of the Akron Beacon Journal, calling for Judge John Adams to approve Akron's CSO plan. Click here to read it, and click here to read the Akron Beacon Journal's editorial endorsing Akron's plan.
FOCR's Elaine Marsh is quoted in this article in WKSU about Akron's efforts to remove Combined Sewer Overflows.
Also click here for an article for Keel-haulers which grew out of her talk on this subject.

Cuyahoga Water Trail

FOCR is advocating the construction of a Water Trail on the Cuyahoga, from its headwaters to Lake Erie. Click here for a link to the Keel-haulers' article on the plan, and come back to this website for regular updates.

2013 River Rat Revelry was a big success—Thursday, April 11, 2013!

The 2013 River Rat Revelry was held in Cuyahoga Falls on Thursday, April 11. Over fifty people saw three way-cool presentations on our Crooked River's history, the plans for dam removal, updates on CSOs, and more! Click here for the program.

Brecksville Dam Update

The environmental impact study for the Route 82 Dam has been reinvigorated. Click here for a link to the "Canal Diversion Dam Modification Plan Update" from Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

The Cuyahoga from Burning River to Recreational Resource is a program which was jointly presented by Appalachian Outfitters and Friends of the Crooked River on Tuesday, April 10, 2012, at 6:30 PM at the Appalachian Outfitter store. FOCR's Elaine Marsh was the featured speaker.

Welcome to the online home of the Cuyahoga River.

The picture in the upper left corner was chosen because it illustrates that the Cuyahoga River is a river of contrasts.  For some it is a haven of beauty, a source of inspiration, and place for recreation.  For others it is a ditch to be used as a sewer and forgotten or as a resource to be exploited for a quick profit. 
The photo in the upper right corner is one from our archive of photos supporting the Cuyahoga Water Trail. Come back to this website to see a different (random) photo.

Join Us! Download a membership application here.

Contact the Virtual RiverKeeper, matt at americanwhitewater dot org, with any question about this website, Friends of the Crooked River, or the Cuyahoga River.

River News


Friends of the Crooked River will visit your group to give our presentation, "Dams of the Cuyahoga." Click to download our flyer (pdf).


Next Meetings:
December 11 - Peninsula, Ohio
January 8 - Peninsula, Ohio
February 12 - Peninsula, Ohio

Regular meetings start at 7:00 PM. They are held at 1664 Main Street, Peninsula, Ohio. Enter through the rear door. All are welcome. Click here for directions.


Contact Us

We run a full schedule of canoeing / kayaking trips on the Crooked River, with a range of difficulties and river experiences. All are welcome; please call ahead. The 2013 schedule is now complete; come back in 2014 to see the Cuyahoga up close and personal. Click here for the full schedule.


To contact Friends of the Crooked River, send email to the Virtual RiverKeeper, matt at americanwhitewater dot org.

This site was last updated 11/9/14.