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In the Cuyahoga River was so badly choked with oil and other pollutants that the water literally caught on fire. It happened again in The image of a flaming river so horrified people that it is often credited with inspiring the Clean Water Act. Nearly the only thing that could be found living in the water was invasive carp.
Yet only fifty years later, the same river now hosts a variety of fish, birds, bugs, and other wildlife. People use the river for picnics and whitewater kayaking, and it has just this year been declared clean enough to eat fish from again.
Along with cleaning pollutants from the river and surrounding earth, environmentalists also removed six dams to increase oxygenation and revive fish populations. Work on healing the river continues, but the Cuyahoga has come a long way from the dead, burning waterway it was only fifty years ago.
We often hear that nature can be fragile, but we must remember that nature can also be shockingly resilient.
When we clean and restore polluted areas, nature will eagerly return to recolonize them. All we have to do is get out of the way.
Sources: X X X X. Cuyahoga River rises from the ashes and the jokes 50 years after the fire. See this in the app Show more.