CUYAHOGA RIVER REMEDIAL ACTION PLAN
CUYAHOGA AMERICAN HERITAGE RIVER

Download the Mill Creek Watershed Action Plan
(part 1)
(5M pdf)

MILL CREEK takes a southerly course through Cleveland's east side suburbs for its first half, its watershed becoming progressively more urbanized as the creek approaches I-480 and turns north along Broadway Avenue, then takes a sharp turn southward and into the valley to join the lower Cuyahoga River at the border between Cuyahoga Heights and Garfield Heights. From its headwaters in Beachwood and Shaker Heights, with major tributaries joining from Garfield and Maple Heights, to its outflow into the Cuyahoga River, the creek flows through 9 communities. Much of the creek's course weaves under and alongside major roadways and railroad tracks, where it has been largely undervalued as a natural setting, even ignored, except when flooding sends it over its banks.

In spite of more than a century of hard use, Mill Creek is, in fact, an jewel waiting to be restored. Mill Creek Falls, the largest waterfall in Cuyahoga County, is located in the Cleveland Metroparks' Garfield Reservation. Although the area is rapidly being developed, the section where headwater streams join the main watercourse in Highland Hills still contains large areas of natural marsh and grass meadows.

Unfortunately, over the last 150 years, the growth of Greater Cleveland's industrial and commercial areas, transportation byways and residential neighborhoods have taken their toll on the Creek. The result has been vast areas where streambanks have been lined with concrete, buried in culverts beneath bridges and roads, or eroded as storm water courses over paved surfaces. Riparian corridors, floodplains and wetlands have been lost or severely fragmented.

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LOCATION: Northeast Ohio, Cuyahoga County, including the communities of
Beachwood, Cleveland, Cuyahoga Heights, Garfield Heights, Highland Hills, Maple Heights, North Randall, Shaker Heights and Warrensville Heights.
CHARACTERISTICS  
Drainage: Approximately 19 square miles
Length: 12.2 miles
Gradient: Average gradient of 53.5 ft/mile
Land Cover: Primarily urbanized - contains "suburbanized" areas of lawn, golf courses, "commercialized" areas of parking lots, roadways, large roofs, and "industrialized" areas of railyards and railways, and light industry.
WATERSHED-SPECIFIC CHALLENGES TO HEALTH AND FUNCTION • Increased volumes of water from …
• loss of habitat, tree canopy, wetlands and riparian zones,
replaced by...
• large tracts of impervious surfaces create...
• faster flows into the creek, causing…
• erosion and sedimentation, and…
• aging common trench sewers, carrying urban runoff, creating...
• poor water quality and degraded aquatic life.
GEOLOGY  Dense subsurface soils keep water from filtering down, while looser surface soils erode easily.
WATER QUALITY Poor.

NEW! WETLANDS IN THE MILL CREEK WATERSHED, PRIORITIZED FOR RESTORATION POTENTIAL
MILL CREEK WETLANDS, PRIORITIZED
These pdf files (click on each to download) include the overview of the highest ranked wetlands in the Mill Creek watershed, and files with details for each of those wetlands. The "Analysis" file includes all the identified wetlands in the watershed, with ranking data.

A&B: Mill Creek Wetlands Overview with watershed map (1M)

C: Mill Creek Wetland #1 & #2 (8.6M)

D: Mill Creek Wetland #3 & #4 (8.6M)

E: Mill Creek Wetland #5 (8.6M)

F: Mill Creek Wetland #6 (8.6M)

G: Mill Creek Wetland #7 (8.6M)

H: Mill Creek Wetland #8 & #9 (8.6M)

I: Mill Creek Wetland #10 (8.6M)

J: Mill Creek All Wetlands Analysis (33K)

If you have questions about the report, data or methodology, contact Marie Sullivan at sullivanm@cuyahogariverrap.org.

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.

Download the
Delisting Targets for
Ohio Areas of Concern

CRCPO • 1299 Superior Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44114
216/241-2414
contact: goodmanj@cuyahogariverrap.org