STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) – The City of Struthers celebrated the latest development in revitalizing the Mahoning River. The mayors of Struthers, Youngstown and Lowellville met Tuesday and talked about the next steps in revitalizing the river.
The Struthers Dam is the second to be removed and just a few months ago, a launch was installed for kayakers.
It’s been a years-long process. Mayor Cat Miller said they aren’t done yet.
We have a lot of visions, a lot of dreams. We have new property here that we’re working with. We’re trying to develop that, too,” she said.
The city worked with the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments to secure state funding to remove the dam and create the launch. There are seven more dams that need to be removed.
Funding has been secured for Warren’s Summit Street Dam and the Leavittsburg Dam, and Youngstown is in the planning phase for the removal of its three dams.
“This is really an opportunity to really affect generations to come,” Brown said.
About 50 people paddled down the Mahoning River after the new kayak launch was unveiled. Tom Smith, board chair of the Friends of the Mahoning River, said they are always toward their next step and is glad the dams are removed.
“They are a major safety concern. We always tell our members and anyone that wants to listen that you need to stay away from them,” he said.
Stephanie Dyer, environmental program manager with Eastgate, said the removal is essential to improving the environmental quality of the river.
“So that we can improve water quality, so the fish can migrate up and down streams, and so the river can do what it naturally needs to do,” she said.
Eastgate is working towards removing all the dams and securing funding through the governor’s office of Appalachia to continue restoring the river and revitalizing the cities along it.
“The sky’s the limit with how this river revitalizing,” Dyer said.