Cuyahoga River Community Planning

See the Plain Dealer story about CLEERTEC's Green Bulkhead project here.


Restoring and Revitalizing the Cuyahoga River
in ways that improve water quality,
promote economic development,
provide recreational and commercial benefits,
and return Ohio’s American Heritage River
to its rightful place as the area’s
premier environmental asset.


To serve the need for environmental restoration through the design, development and
use of innovative technology and capital investment, and to provide economic development opportunities that benefit the community.

CLEERTEC is a Community Resource and Idea Management Tool to convert promising ideas into environmental remedial action, regional business development and local jobs. It provides structure, services and resources to help develop businesses and jobs in the region, with emphasis on bringing emerging technologies for environmental restoration to the business community.


Actionable Idea Management A center to consolidate and focus brainpower and skills toward solving environmental problems.

As the planning and organizing body appointed by the federal and state governments to manage the cleanup of the Cuyahoga River and its Area of Concern, the RAP and AHR are able to assemble partners to move projects forward and to navigate passageways to funding.

We are able to:
• Link partners with projects that provide return on investment,
• Identify, organize and facilitate partnerships among disparate but interrelated parties
• Gather technology on a wide variety of knowledge and skill sets.
• Foster an inclusive approach to engage regulators in problem solving


We provide community education to support the project’s activities and fill education gaps among investors, innovators and the community.
• Communications plan leadership
• Building a community culture for environmental restoration

FOUR KEY CONCEPTS are both rationale and roadmap regarding opportunities for restoration in concert with community revitalization:

River and tributary restoration will require sustained effort by all segments of the community and region.

• There are no quick fixes.
• Existing regulations and emerging trends require that stream stewardship must become an established component of community awareness and action.
• There will be long-term demand for restoration services. Long-term environmental remediation requires commitment from the private sector.
• Communities that invest in environmental restoration, bring innovative technologies to the table, and make long-range commitments to stewardship, can foresee long-term economic benefits.

The nature of existing and emerging pollutants and environmental stressors are very susceptible to creative approaches and new technology, and this region has the skills and resources to provide such services.

• Our growth and productivity as a society has been largely a function of our vision in applying technology to our needs.
• This region has strong University and R&D capabilities. The focus of applied research can and should be directed toward environmental restoration applications. There are under-used but highly relevant assets in the region that can and must be applied.
• Community resources have not been focused in a systematic approach to enhancing the local economy through innovations in environmental restoration technology.

Environmental restoration makes good economic sense for the community.
Restoration occurs most effectively when there are economic benefits.

Investing in healthy streams sustains healthy communities.
• Fully functioning environmental systems reduce the cost of building and maintaining structural solutions. 
• The potential for adding economic benefit provides a pathway to higher levels of community involvement in local restoration.
• Environmental restoration is place-based; funds are spent in the community and the community benefits from the restoration effort.

Substantial projected new federal funding exists

…especially opportunities emerging from the Great Lakes Regional Collaborative for Great Lakes cleanup has the potential to provide capital and significant additional market demand for environmental restoration providers

CLEERTEC’s role is to support and be supported by the Cuyahoga Valley Initiative for sustainable restoration and economic development.


Return on Investment comes in many forms:
1)    Recovery of lost or damaged assets: Landowners and local governments benefit as degraded natural systems are restored to working order and natural assets regain their value. As pollutants are removed and managed, natural areas and waterways once again become recreational and quality-of-life assets that enhance communities’ resource base and property values.
2)    Improved risk management: Costs to manage the risk of loss due to flooding, erosion, and hazards are reduced, as are costs associated with repair, recovery and litigation.
3)    Business growth & job development: The economic value of the of a clean-up and restoration economy can be measured in local jobs, new ventures, and products and services that can be exported worldwide as other communities deal with their own environmental problems.
·  Economic enterprises developed around protecting and preserving watershed assets as community resources can include designing and installing storm water detention basins, wetlands and riparian corridors as part of a green space plan, with local design, engineering, construction and installation, using locally-produced materials and locally-grown native plants.
·  Business development resulting from opportunities created by government regulations aimed at protecting resources can include construction site erosion-prevention services, parking lot filter strips, wetlands and riparian zones constructed for mitigation, new pervious paving and stream reconstruction.
·  Opportunities for helping local businesses to be good environmental neighbors can include eco-friendly parking lot and rooftop design, green building strategies and materials, habitat corridors and natural buffers.
·  Develop businesses and jobs using new approaches and emerging technologies to mitigate on-going environmental stressors: e.g. toxic sediment, invasive species, CSO discharge, aging shoreline bulkheads.
4)    Improved efficiency of Community and Capital Investment: Regional approaches to preserving the functionality of natural systems include regional capital projects to manage storm water, filling the need to integrate local resources into a larger system.
5)    Increasing and improving natural amenities add to community health and stability: Studies show that community pride and stability is created when the amount and value of natural amenities is increased or improved. Statistics show that increasing green infrastructure improves public physical and mental health and reduces health care costs.
6)    Improved efficiency for community use of infrastructure: Current policies and practices undervalue the use and reuse of land in the Industrial Valley. Investment in promoting the river and valley as a shared resource can reduce inter-community competitive practices that create misdirected government investments and reward sprawl and dispersion.

The Cuyahoga River Community Planning Organization (CRCPO)
is host to the Cuyahoga River Remedial Action Plan (RAP) and
the Cuyahoga American Heritage River Initiative.

We work with partners, stakeholders and communities
in five Northeast Ohio counties to restore and revitalize the
Cuyahoga River Watershed and Areas Of Concern, and
to improve water quality in the watershed and Lake Erie.

CRCPO • 1299 Superior Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44114