Current Speaker


White, Jim
Executive Director, Cuyahoga River Remedial Action Plan
Year of the River

September 16, 2009

The recovery of the Cuyahoga River provides lessons about the growing potential of environmental restoration as an economic development tool in Northeast Ohio. Mr. White will discuss how this can become an important part of a new regional economy for a Green City on a Blue Lake.

Since joining the Cuyahoga River recovery effort in 2001, Mr. White has drawn on thirty years experience in senior-level management in the public, private and non-profit sectors to lead the environmental and economic revitalization of the river. Having served as County Administrator in two Virginia counties, and a corporate Chief Financial Officer, he is adept at the art of the public/private partnership. He is most interested in developing effective long-term implementation strategies for the Cuyahoga River.

He led the creation of CLEERTEC, the Cuyahoga/Lake Erie Environmental Restoration Technology Enterprise Center, and the development of the Green Bulkhead prototype project for the Cuyahoga River Ship Channel.   In 2008, he led development of the Chippewa Creek Balanced Growth Watershed Management Plan, the first such plan to be approved by the State of Ohio.   He has been closely involved in the development of the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy, supporting the Environmental Finance Advisory Board of USEPA, and Ohio EPA.


In 2006, Mr. White received the Lake Erie Award from the Ohio Lake Erie Commission, for creativity and leadership in Lake Erie restoration.  He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Muskingum College and a Master’s degree in Planning from The University of Virginia.


THE CUYAHOGA RIVER REMEDIAL ACTION PLAN (RAP) was created in 1988 by the Ohio EPA with a mission to plan and promote the restoration of the environmental quality of the lower Cuyahoga River through the remediation of existing conditions, prevention of further pollution and degradation, and protection of the resource for future generations.

The Plan has one goal: removing the lower river, and the areas of concern that include tributaries adjacent to the river that drain directly to Lake Erie, from the list of degraded or endangered waterways that, in turn, contribute to the degradation of the Great Lakes.

Thirty-nine stakeholders appointed by the EPA and representing community groups, government agencies, businesses and individuals serve as the RAP Coordinating Committee. Each has an interest in restoring the essential functions of the river, protecting its water quality and insuring its role as the region's most valuable natural resource.



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