Clean Water Act at 50: environmental gains, challenges unmet

Two rowers paddle along the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland on July 12, 2011. Tuesday is the 50th anniversary of Congress passing the Clean Water Act to protect U.S. waterways from abuses like the oily industrial pollution that caused Ohio’s Cuyahoga River to catch on fire in 1969. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

Lifelong Cleveland resident Steve Gove recalls when the Cuyahoga River symbolized shame — fetid, lifeless, notorious for catching fire when sparks from overhead rail cars ignited the oil-slicked surface.