Black River Advisory Committee's (AOC) goal is to remove the Black River from the US EPA's Area Of Concern list. This committee is sponsored by the Ohio EPA and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), and assists with funding requests and project designation along the lower six miles of the Black River. This area flows from Elyria through Sheffield Village and Lorain before draining into Lake Erie.

The Advisory Committee is made up of city, state and federal entities, non-profit organizations, private citizens, and other Black River stakeholders. The committee meets quarterly, currently using Zoom to facilitate online meetings. While the Black River is 12.5 miles long, the committee's main focus is on the Lower Black River. Starting at the mouth, draining into Lake Erie, and going 6.5 miles upriver to where French Creek flows into the river is the main area of focus.


Management Actions Complete

Another Milestone Achieved on the Path to Recovery

The Black River was designated as an Area of Concern in 1987 and local, state and federal partners have worked together in completing all management actions, with the final step finished in September 2020. The Black River AOC has 6 BUI’s that remain impaired, as BUI 11: Degradation to Aesthetics was recently removed on January 14, 2021. Working to remove BUI’s doesn’t just help the river, it helps the whole city. Some might not realize that the hard work and time put in to help delist the AOC also has a huge impact on the community. The Black River was once known for the mighty ships that were built on its banks. Along with steel and coal utilizing the banks and shoreline, this was Lorain's lifeblood. Now it is the lifeblood through recreation and entertainment. State, federal, and local efforts continue to help work towards the goal of delisting the Black River AOC.

Upcoming Events

February 06, 2024   2:00

Lorain County Public Health Building
Click Here for meeting details


Recent Announcements

Last Updated: November 15, 2023

Lorain County Soil and Water District to Facilitate Black River Area of Concern Advisory Committee
Lorain County Soil and Water District has taken on the important role of facilitating the Black River Area of Concern Advisory Committee. With a proven commitment to environmental stewardship and community engagement, the District is poised to continue leading the collaborative efforts in restoring and preserving the ecological health of the Black River watershed.

3rd Black River Summit Video Posted
April 1, 2024
We have the entire Black River Summit, with presentations posted on our youtube channel.

BUI 11: Degradation of Aesthetics Removed
On January 14, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) removed the degradation of aesthetics beneficial use impairment from the Black River AOC that was caused by environmental issues dating back decades. This beneficial use impairment is the third BUI to be removed from the initial nine BUIs for the Black River Area of Concern. The restoration criteria for this BUI included no observed ongoing occurrences of sludge deposits, oil sheens, scum, or other objectionable materials. This BUI removal marks the 100th Beneficial Use Impairment removal from a U.S. Area of Concern (AOC). Being a part of a historic milestone, restoring the Great Lakes, is a great start to 2021!

New Youtube Channel
We have just started a Youtube channel that will feature past documentaries on the Black River restoration, along with short and informative videos, project information, and more. Please Click Here to visit our channel

Newsletter is Now Here
We now have a newsletter that will come out every month. Please Click Here to sign up.

Quarterly Meetings
All of our meetings have been moved to online Zoom meetings until further notice
Please Click Here for our current schedule of meetings coming up. You will also find an acrchived list of past meetings and their minutes.


Explore Black River AOC

Learn about the Black River through our multimedia collection and timeline.



Learn about the history of the Black River by viewing our timeline.

More Information


Learn more about the Black River AOC by viewing our Multimedia section.

More Information