The Ohio River’s long legacy as a “working river” has made it the most polluted in the country. Those living along its banks are now beginning to realize that reimagining their relationship with the river could prove crucial to the region’s future. Headwaters explores what this new chapter in the river’s history could look like — and how we can get there.
Ep. 7: Towboat Deckhands, the Ohio River’s Unsung Heroes
You probably know them as “pushers” or “towboats.” But whatever you do—under penalty of ridicule—don’t call them tugboats. They don’t actually pull or “tug” their multi-ton loads of coal or road salt or whatever humble building block of modern life is sitting atop the barge deck on any given day. Instead, these shallow-draft boats slowly, but skillfully push their freight through America’s inland waterways on chains of barges that can stretch hundreds of feet. For deckhand Ryan Gilleran, life on the towboat means long days on the Ohio River. But playing a key—if unsung—role in keeping your roads clear and lights on is work that’s easy to find pride in.
Ep. 6: The role of hydropower in our region and river transportation on the Ohio
In this episode, we tap into the role of hydropower in our region. Plus, river transportation on the Ohio is big business but it depends on aging infrastructure.
Ep. 5: Industrial Pollution that Still Plagues the Ohio
Industrial pollution like mercury and PCBs and chemical spills have plagued the Ohio River for years -- and worried residents and environmentalists. But there might just be a silver lining -- more dollars spent on drinking water safety.
Ep. 4: Finding the Sweet Spot for Development Along the Ohio
As towns large and small along the Ohio River try to attract more industry and create jobs, many are asking, “Is there room for river recreation?” You know, the fun stuff, like kayaking, fishing and swimming.
Ep. 3: Teflon is Sticking To the Ohio
In this episode, we visit one small West Virginia town still plagued by contamination from DuPont’s nonstick chemical used in Teflon. And, what’s the next generation of chemicals that’s keeping your eggs from sticking to the pan and are they really safer?
Ep. 2: Water Trading and Toxic Algae
In this episode, we look at how water trading could help farmers and the Ohio and how toxic algae is brewing on the river.