An official website of the United States government.

We've made some changes to If the information you are looking for is not here, you may be able to find it on the EPA Web Archive or the January 19, 2017 Web Snapshot.

Great Lakes AOCs

Cuyahoga River AOC

Contact Us

Mark Loomis


The Cuyahoga River AOC is in northeastern Ohio, between Akron and Cleveland. The AOC is extensive. It includes:

  • the lower 46.5 miles of the Cuyahoga River, starting at the head of the Gorge Dam pool in Akron/Cuyahoga Falls
  • tributaries to the river (they drain 813 square miles of land in portions of six Ohio counties)
  • the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area (22 miles of river between Akron and Cleveland)
  • ten miles of the Lake Erie shoreline, from the western border of Cleveland to Euclid Creek on the east, and tributaries to that portion of the shoreline

The boundary of the AOC was expanded in 2010 to include the Gorge Dam pool.

Sources of Pollution

The area was considered highly degraded because of:
  • poor water quality due to
    • eutrophication
    • toxic substances
    • bacterial contamination
  • loss of biodiversity due to
    • water contamination
    • habitat degradation
    • sedimentation
  • land use changes that have altered the river and its tributaries
Sources for these impairments include:
  • municipal and industrial discharges
  • bank erosion
  • commercial and residential development
  • atmospheric deposition of contaminants
  • hazardous waste disposal sites
  • urban stormwater runoff
  • and combined sewer overflows
  • wastewater treatment plant bypasses

Top of Page

Beneficial Use Impairments

More information:
  • Restrictions on Fish Consumption - REMOVED January 2019
  • Degradation of Fish Populations
  • Fish Tumors or Other Deformities
  • Degradation of Benthos
  • Restrictions on Navigational Dredging
  • Eutrophication or Undesirable Algae
  • Beach Closings (Recreational Contact)
  • Degradation of Aesthetics - REMOVED November 2017
  • Loss of Fish Habitat

Top of Page

Remediation and Restoration Work

EPA has continually worked with federal, state and local partners to execute remediation and restoration work in the area with the ultimate goal of removing the AOC designation and revitalizing the surrounding communities.

Top of Page


The following links exit the siteThe following links exit the site Exi

Top of Page