TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) – There is a clearer future for a local river. Health officials have lifted several advisories for the Ottawa River.
It has been more than 20 years since the Ohio Department of Health issued a fish consumption advisory for the Ottawa River. That advisory is now lifted, allowing people to eat fish from the river, although there is still an advisory on carp.
Health officials said the advisory lifting is a step in the right direction for the river, which runs through parts of Ottawa Hills and Toledo, including the campus of the University of Toledo. Officials removed a sign on campus Wednesday which banned fishing and swimming in the river.
The ODH originally issued the fish consumption advisory after decades of pollution from manufacturing activity and improper dumping of hazardous waste. It was not until recent years that the situation improved. In 2010, the state lifted a ban on swimming and wading in the river.
"This just tells you we've made the turn when you're starting to show improvement instead of degradation, and this is just the culmination of a lot of efforts to get to this turn where we can now pull this sign and say it's OK to wade in and OK to eat the fish out of," said Scott Nally, director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
The officials credited dredging, habit restoration and buffer strips for the improvement. They said the projects and community cooperation have helped manage storm water runoff and sewage.
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