Friends of the Mahoning River-advocates for the Mahoning River in NE Ohio that still suffers under the legacy of the Steel-Making Era. The Friends are a non-profit, grass-roots, organization with a few dedicated and committed volunteers.
A sediment contact ban and fish consumption advisory has been in effect since 1988. While other large rivers in Ohio have been, or are in the process of being, restored, the Mahoning River has had little resources funneled its way. The Friends of the Mahoning River are trying to change that by bringing attention to the condition of the river. They are trying to educate the community about what needs to be done to help the river improve the ecology and water quality within the watershed. There are scheduled clean-ups along the river, an annual RiverFest to celebrate the river, support for the removal of low-head dams which have trapped heavy metals, PAHs, and other toxic materials resulting in the health bans. There have been attempts to remediate, in the 1990s the Water Development Act included the Mahoning River as one of several heavily polluted rivers in the nation. The US Army Corps of Engineers began an environmental dredging project that would have included removing the dams, but this was derailed. The Friends of the Mahoning are again working with others in the community to try another route using a Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program available through the Ohio EPA to remove the dams and allow for the natural restoration of the river.