Prompted replies for 30DBC, Journalistic Intentions, et al.
|Maybe you remember these lines from old beer commercials: "From the Land of Sky Blue Waters..." or "...Rocky Mountain spring water...". Sadly, not all U.S. waters are as clean and pure now as was implied then, and there were times and places where it wasn't even close. When I think about water pollution in the U.S., Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga and Detroit Rivers come to mind. They aren't the only polluted waterways in America, but they're among the most storied.
The Detroit and Cuyahoga both feed Lake Erie—the Detroit being the lake's primary inlet—and industrial waste and urban runoff from both resulted in a serious pollution problem. Whole stretches of both rivers suffered a decline in their fish population, to the point that they were devoid of fish. The Cuyahoga caught fire at least 13 times, the most famous one of which was in June 1969; I remember hearing about that one. While the Detroit River never burst into flame, it, too, was incredibly polluted. Kind of makes you wonder about all those Stroh's beers you drank back then, eh?
All three of these bodies of water have made tremendous strides since serious long-term cleanup efforts were initiated, but there's still plenty of work to be done.