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Friday, June 23, 2017

Cuyahoga Falls Seeks to Remove Dam from Gorge Metro Park

Posted By on Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 9:58 AM

click to enlarge ERIC SANDY / SCENE

While there's no real time table in place, the large dam along the Cuyahoga River in Gorge Metro Park is expected to be taken down sometime in the next few years. The federal government is kicking in most of the anticipated $70-million cost.

While the dam has been a tourist attraction in its own right for years, it actually serves no real purpose any longer. Summit County and Cuyahoga Falls officials have argued that removal of the dam would lead to a stronger and healthier river and, invariably, lake. Beneath the dam, a good waterfall would once again thrive and allow more natural ecological functions to unfold. It would be much easier on the fish, too.

The Akron Beacon Journal lays out the whole plan, which includes hauling 38 football fields worth of sediment to a nearby landfill property. The federal funds, part of a broader (and threatened) Great Lakes budget, finally made these long-held aspirations a reality. The dam hasn't been used since 1991, and many stakeholders believe that a return to the waterfall will generate its own renewed sort of tourism and visitation.

Cuyahoga Falls will host a meeting from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday about clean-up efforts along the river, as WEWS reports. Beyond that, know this: Gorge Metro Park is one of the coolest hiking spots in Northeast Ohio. Check it out.

click to enlarge ERIC SANDY / SCENE

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