The Ashtabula River

The Ashtabula River (HM2FS5)

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N 41° 54.027', W 80° 47.892'

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From Shipping Mecca to Contaminated Waterway to Revitalized Harbor

More than 400 years ago, the Iroquois and Algonquin Native American tribes settled in the Ashtabula River basin, and named the river "Hash-tah-buh-lah"—"river of many fish."

The Ashtabula River became a shipping hub over the following centuries. Expanding industrial uses brought environmental degradation that reduced harbor activity.

Up to 19 industrial facilities operated near Fields Brook during the height of the industry in the 1950s, producing metal products and chemicals. A lack of environmental regulations led to unregulated discharges of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) into Fields Brook, seriously contaminated the Ashtabula River.

In the 1970s, passage of the Clean Water Act improved water quality considerably, but sediments remained contaminated in both waterways. Fields Brook was remediated in 1996 under the federal Superfund program, but safe removal of the contaminated Ashtabula River sediments remained a challenge. Ashtabula River was named one of the 43 most contaminated areas of concern in the Great Lakes. The Ashtabula River Remedial Action Plan (RAP), organized in 1988, continued to work on the river contamination.
HM NumberHM2FS5
Placed ByThe Ashtabula River Partnership
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, April 17th, 2019 at 5:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17T E 516738 N 4638743
Decimal Degrees41.90045000, -80.79820000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 41° 54.027', W 80° 47.892'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds41° 54' 1.6200000000001" N, 80° 47' 53.52" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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