September 30, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
62°F
test

Scientists test Black River water quality

Researchers Sarah Atkins and Mick Micacchion, investigators for the Midwest Biodiversity Institute, paddle up the Black River off Ford Road on Wednesday as they return from collecting water samples. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

Researchers Sarah Atkins and Mick Micacchion, investigators for the Midwest Biodiversity Institute, paddle up the Black River off Ford Road on Wednesday as they return from collecting water samples. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

SHEFFIELD LAKE — Despite the swiftly dropping temperatures, scientists continue to gather research in parts of the Black River that once was deemed an area of concern.

“We’re trying to figure out what’s causing (problems in the water) and address that,” said Mick Micacchion, a researcher with the Midwest Biodiversity Institute. “It’s about putting the pieces together.”

Micacchion and fellow researcher Sarah Atkins spent almost two hours on Wednesday collecting water samples along a section of the Black River in the reservation near Interstate 90.

Micacchion said that he tests the water’s pH levels and temperature to see if there are any irregularities. Other researchers look at fish activity in the river, examining their size and relative health, Micacchion said.

Micacchion’s research and sample collecting is part of a larger Black River Restoration Project, which is led by a group of partners including the city of Lorain, Lorain County, Lorain County Metro Parks and Lorain Port Authority.

The partners, with help from Coldwater Consulting, employ multiple companies like the Biodiversity Institute to help examine potential ecological problems with the Black River and work to restore the water quality. The project is made possible by grants from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The group’s efforts are a response to years of pollution to the water. In 1990, the river was named a Great Lake area of concern because of industrial activity near the river that left steel processing byproducts in the water and harmed fish, according to Coldwater Consulting principal owner Krista Risch.

Risch said that over recent years the project has put in grass and trees in the area, improved the health of life forms in the water and removed steel byproducts from the river.

However, she added, almost 100 years of industrial activity in the area has left a lot to be cleaned up.

“I’d say we’ve done a bit, but there’s still a lot to do,” Risch said.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or amerriman@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnaLMerriman.


  • tickmeoff

    Anna, The Black river doesn’t touch any part of Sheffield lake. The Black River starts in Sullivan in Ashland County and meanders through Sheffield Village and becomes widest towards the mouth of the river as it enters into Lake Erie in the city of Lorain. There are actually three Sheffield’s in the county of Lorain. Sheffield Village, Sheffield Lake, and Sheffield Township. Google Lorain County and you will see it for yourself. This was a nice article outside of being labeled wrong geographically.

    • Roy Benevidez

      The dateline (SHEFFIELD LAKE) is the geographic location where the story was filed not necessarily where it was reported. In this day and age, it could be wherever the reporter gets decent cellular or WiFi data access to transmit the story back to the newsroom or it is the location of their reporting homebase.

      • Phil Blank

        Then way go to the trouble of adding “Sheffield Lake” if that is not where the actual testing took place?
        We don’t care about his cell coverage plan or his home area!

        • Roy Benevidez

          Because that is the C-T’s style as it is for most news organizations. Want the history as to why then try teh Googly.

          Do you just post reflexively?

          Next time, read for context.
          (The More You Know!)

      • tickmeoff

        That is still no excuse in that the location is not accurate, the story is misleading in that most people would think the river flows through Sheffield lake, when it actually flows through Lorain about 3 and a half miles away. Accuracy is everything and the practice of a dateline should be eliminated, otherwise in the future you will have no confidence on any future story that is written, because a dateline is not geographically accurate, and never will be due to the technology that transmits the story.

  • Phil Blank

    By ” testing a section of the Black River in the reservation near Interstate 90″, they miss all the bad stuff that makes it into the lake!