“They’ll walk on their fins and get woefully weary in search of some water that isn’t so smeary. I hear things are just as bad up in Lake Erie.”
So said the Humming-Fish in “The Lorax,” written by Dr. Seuss in 1971, highlighting the plight of Lake Erie. Declared “dead” by national news media, the lake “oozes rather than flows,” wrote Time Magazine. Pictures of Cleveland’s burning Cuyahoga River became a national icon of environmental failure while farm fertilizer, industrial discharges and sewage overflows fed algae enough phosphorus to transform the lake into a toxic pea soup.