The Cuyahoga River Area of Concern (AOC)

formerly Cuyahoga River Remedial Action Plan (RAP)

Bringing 1 river, 21 subwatersheds, and 10 miles of Lake Erie shore back to health

The Cuyahoga River is one of 43 Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOC) – waters in the the U.S. and Canada that have experienced environmental degradation, fail to meet the objectives of the U.S.- Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA,) and are impaired in their ability to support aquatic life or beneficial uses.

The GLWQA required that each of the Areas of Concern develop a Remedial Action Plan (RAP) to identify the Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs) and their causes, develop criteria for restoration, implement remedial measures, monitor the effectiveness of such measures, and confirm that restoration is achieved.

The Cuyahoga River AOC has 7 remaining Beneficial Use Impairments. (See the list at "The Plan and Targets.") Three of the original ten impairments – Aesthetics, Public Access, and Restrictions on Fish Consumption – are deemed no longer to be impaired, and have been removed from the list.

OhioEPA and the Ohio Lake Erie Commission are the state agencies in charge of delisting Ohio's four AOCs (Cuyahoga, Ashtabula, Black, and Maumee.)

Each AOC has a local stakeholder committee. The Cuyahoga AOC Advisory Committee serves that purpose. The committee includes dozens of stakeholders – agencies, park systems, watershed stewardship groups, businesses, and individuals – involved in implementing the plan.

The Cuyahoga River Area of Concern (AOC)

The lower 46.5 miles of the Cuyahoga River, including all the tributaries that drain to that section of river, and the adjacent Lake Erie shoreline and its direct tributaries, comprise the Cuyahoga River Area of Concern. The AOC begins at the head of the Gorge Dam pool in Akron/Cuyahoga Falls, ends at Lake Erie, and includes the shoreline from the western Cleveland border to Euclid Creek on the east.

news,  events, info

CUYAHOGA AOC WELCOMED THE 2019 GREAT LAKES AOC ANNUAL CONFERENCE...and it was the largest one to date ('cause CLE was the place to be this anniversary year!)

Conference materials, including presentations, posters, the agenda, and a list of attendees are now available on the Environmental Protection Agency's AOCs website:2019 Great Lakes AOCs Conference Presentations and Posters<>


On July 19, the spirits of AOC advisory committee members and friends were as high as the day's record-setting heat as they celebrated the removal of the third BUI1 on the list, Restrictions on Fish Consumption, with a fish fry (yes, Lake Erie yellow perch) at Cleveland Metroparks' e55 on the Lake.

With a backdrop of the lake to set the stage, committee chairwoman Jennifer Grieser spoke of the AOC today, Conservancy for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park's John Debo told of the AOC's 30-year history,  and AOC Outreach Committee Chair Scott Hardy shared the state of the AOC's fish populations. Special guests included many former and present contributors to the effort whose work on identifying contaminants and analyzing fish health made the progress possible, as well as members of the Ohio Central Basin Steelheaders.

This product or publication was financed in part or totally through a grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, with funds from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The contents and views, including any opinions, findings, or conclusions or recommendations, contained in this product or publication are those of the authors and have not been subject to any U.S. EPA or Ohio EPA peer or administrative review and may not necessarily reflect the views of either Agency, and no official endorsement should be inferred.

 Cuyahoga River Restoration
formerly Cuyahoga River Community Planning

is the local 501c3 facilitating organization that raises funds, manages programs and projects, including this website, and coordinates, staffs, and assists the Advisory Committee.

1299 Superior Ave. E • Cleveland, OH 44114
216-241-2414 •