Cleveland: Epicenter of the Environmental Movement?

Cleveland – Epicenter of the Environmental Movement?
Celebrate as EcoWatch goes national


On June 22, 1969 the Cuyahoga River near downtown Cleveland caught fire, focusing national attention on pollution and the abuse of our natural resources. From that event were born the Clean Water Act, the Environmental Protection Agency, and a national sense of urgency regarding our increasingly polluted planet.

Fast forward to next Thu 10/27, when an event near the site of the 1969 fire will once again focus national attention on Cleveland, this time in a positive light. Ecowatch, an environmental organization and publisher of EcoWatch Journal based in Tremont, in conjunction with Waterkeeper Alliance will launch a new national website ( which will serve as the first media source focusing exclusively on news from over 700 environmental groups around the country. Topics will include sustainable agriculture, alternative energy, climate change and pending environmental legislation, among others. The event, at 2:30PM in Rivergate Park will feature speakers including Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Mayor Frank Jackson, among others.

“The current assault on America’s environmental laws, like the Clean Water Act, creates a pressing need to educate and engage people to protect our infrastructure, the air we breathe, the water we drink, to provide our children with the same opportunities for dignity and enrichment as our parents gave us,” said Kennedy. “This website will encourage people to be part of the solution and engage in democracy.”

The website will eventually have a “local button” where people can click to instantly find state, county, or even neighborhood projects so that they can get involved and have an impact on their immediate community. The site also includes original content from national environmental leaders and advisory board members such as Kennedy and actor and environmentalist Ed Begley, Jr., who will be featured in the Insights column.

“Northeast Ohio is a national leader in sustainability and EcoWatch is proud to call Cleveland its home,” said Stefanie Penn Spear, founder and executive director of EcoWatch. “This news service website follows the model we developed in Ohio over the last five years and expands on my more than 20 years of publishing environmental news.” EcoWatch has added two part-time staffers this summer as it prepares to scale up from it’s already impressive website and 80,000 subscriber newspaper to a national news service.

Spear encourages people to attend the riverside event and tour the headquarters of the Cleveland Rowing Club afterwards, or to watch live streaming coverage at

Be sure to attend EcoWatch’s Website Announcement on Thu 10/27 at 2:30PM @ Rivergate Park. For those unable to make the afternoon event, there are two other opportunities for celebration and meeting Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. There is a 6PM VIP reception @ Windows on the River, followed by a dinner and keynote speech by Kennedy at 7PM. Tickets for both can be ordered here.


Bob Yanega is a freelance writer, speaker, fountain of ideas, and renaissance man. He also still occasionally publishes his e-newsletter Bobsense, and spends a disproportionate amount of time inline skating and tinkering with various eco-friendly home projects.

A lifelong Clevelander and unofficial Cleveland ambassador, Bob promises that he will actually publish his book someday which he says will “transform the way people in Cleveland think about Cleveland”. His website is

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