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What's New
Army Corps project will turn pond near Squaw Island, N.Y. into vibrant wetlands
The Buffalo News (10/26)
A stagnant pond near Buffalo's Squaw Island will be refurbished with dredged sediment from the Buffalo River.

Riverkeeper to begin $4.7M restoration project along Buffalo River
Buffalo Business First (9/29)
New federal funding is on its way to continue restoration of the Buffalo River and put it on track to come off a list of toxic hotspots around the Great Lakes. Plans call for Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper to work with the Great Lakes Commission to design and implement restoration work over the next three years.

Higgins secures $4.7 million to restore Buffalo River habitat
The Buffalo News (9/29)
Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, and representatives from Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, the Great Lakes Commission and N.Y. Dept. of Environmental Conservation announced $4.7 million in funding that will be used to restore the Buffalo River shoreline and wildlife habitat.

Slowly, surely, the St. Clair River overcomes its impairments
The Voice (9/25)
Nearly 30 years after it was found to be seriously impaired, the St. Clair River in Michigan is making progress towards being removed from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's list of "Areas of Concern."

Ashtabula River removed from Great Lakes watch list after $85 million cleanup
The Plain Dealer (9/4)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that cleanup of the Ashtabula River in Ohio has progressed enough for it to be removed from a list of contaminated sites along the Great Lakes that are designated "areas of concern" by the United States and Canada.

St. Louis River clean-up project is flowing along
Northlands News Center (8/25)
In Minnesota, progress is flowing on the St. Louis River clean up. The river is listed as one of 43 areas of concern around the great lakes, but extreme contamination has made it a top priority. Clean-up efforts have hit a major milestone this summer.

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Overview
Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOCs) are severely degraded geographic areas within the Great Lakes Basin. They are defined by the U.S.-Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (Annex 2 of the 1987 Protocol) as "geographic areas that fail to meet the general or specific objectives of the agreement where such failure has caused or is likely to cause impairment of beneficial use of the area's ability to support aquatic life." The U.S. and Canadian governments have identified 43 such areas; 26 in U.S. waters, 17 in Canadian water (five are shared between U.S. and Canada on connecting river systems). Collingwood Harbour, in Ontario, is the first of these 43 sites to be delisted.
 
The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, as amended via the 1987 protocol, directs the two federal governments to cooperate with state and provincial governments to develop and implement Remedial Action Plans for each Area of Concern.
 
View a map of the Great Lakes Areas of Concern

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General Resources
Human Health and the Great Lakes
U.S. EPA Region 5 / Great Lakes Commission
Featuring information on hot topics like drinking water and fish consumption, Human Health and the Great Lakes provides complete and up-to-date information about issues of human health in the Great Lakes region. Also contains a comprehensive glossary of Great Lakes terms and several links to related online resources. Based on data taken from the EPA's Lakewide Management Plan (LaMP) studies.

Areas of Concern in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin
Environment Canada
This site provides a map with links to background and updates for all of the AOCs in the Great Lakes Region.

Areas of Concern Map
International Joint Commission (IJC)
A clickable map of all the Great Lakes' AOCs and their information tables.

Great Lakes Areas of Concern
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO)
Information on U.S. AOCs including current RAP status, scheduled meetings, progress and achievements, beneficial use impairments, research, publications, community involvement and funding partners.

Resources on the Areas of Concern
Great Lakes Commission
This web site provides a "virtual library" of information on the Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOC) program and associated Remedial Action Plans (RAP). The site includes links to RAP documents and AOC web pages; contacts for each AOC; resources on delisting the U.S. AOCs, including existing delisting targets and documentation for AOCs that have been delisted; workshop proceedings; funding sources; and other AOC resources.

U.S. Areas of Concern Program Annual Meeting
The annual Areas of Concern (AOC) conference will convene participants from the 30 U.S. AOCs. The conference is intended for all parties involved in efforts to restore the U.S. Great Lakes Areas of Concern, including members of local AOC groups, state and federal agency staff, LaMP participants, academic partners, consultants, and others interested in the AOC program.

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Education
TEACH Great Lakes: Areas of Concern (AOCs)
Find out about the causes of pollution in the AOCs and what is being done to restore and clean up these areas.

TEACH Great Lakes: Water Pollution
Water pollution is defined as a change in the chemical, physical and biological health of a waterway due to a human activity: sewage disposal, toxic contamination through heavy metals and pesticides, overdevelopment of the water's edge, and more...

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Lake Erie
Ashtabula River Area of Concern
Black River Area of Concern
Cuyahoga River Area of Concern
Maumee River Area of Concern
Presque Isle Bay Area of Concern
Rouge River Area of Concern
Wheatley Harbour Area of Concern

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Lake Huron
Collingwood Harbour Area of Concern
Severn Sound Area of Concern
Spanish Harbour Area of Concern
St. Clair River Area of Concern
St. Marys River Area of Concern

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Lake Michigan
Grand Calumet Area of Concern
Kalamazoo River Area of Concern
Lower Green Bay and Fox River Area of Concern
Manistique River Area of Concern
Menominee River Area of Concern
Milwaukee Estuary Area of Concern
Muskegon Lake Area of Concern
Sheboygan River Area of Concern
Waukegan Harbor Area of Concern
White Lake Area of Concern

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Lake Ontario
Bay of Quinte Area of Concern
Hamilton Harbour Area of Concern
Oswego River Area of Concern
Port Hope Area of Concern
Rochester Embayment Area of Concern
Toronto and Region Area of Concern

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Lake Superior
Deer Lake Area of Concern
Jackfish Bay Area of Concern
Nipigon Bay Area of Concern
Peninsula Harbour Area of Concern
St. Louis River Area of Concern
Thunder Bay Area of Concern
Torch Lake Area of Concern

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Connecting Channels
Clinton River Area of Concern
Detroit River Area of Concern
Eighteenmile Creek Area of Concern
Niagara River Area of Concern (New York)
Niagara River Area of Concern (Ontario)
St. Clair River Area of Concern
St. Lawrence River Area of Concern (New York)
St. Lawrence River Area of Concern (Ontario)
St. Marys River Area of Concern

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Programs
Michigan Statewide Public Advisory Council
Great Lakes Commission
The Statewide Public Advisory Council is comprised of citizens representing each of Michigan's 14 Areas of Concern (AOCs).

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Publications
Areas of Concern Delisting Principles and Guidelines
US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA)
The intent of these listing/delisting guidelines is to serve as indicators of use impairment for Great Lakes Areas of Concern.

Areas of Concern Special Report
International Joint Commission (IJC)
This April 2003 report was produced under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 1978 to the Governments of the United States and Canada and the State and Provincial Governments of the Great Lakes Basin.

Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, 1978
Expresses the commitment of each country to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the Great Lakes Basin ecosystem.

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Related Resources
GLIN: Air Toxics in the Great Lakes Region
GLIN: Beneficial Uses in the Great Lakes Areas of Concern
GLIN: Environmental Research in the Great Lakes Region
GLIN: Lakewide Management Plans (LaMPs)
GLIN: Remedial Action Plans for Great Lakes Areas of Concern
GLIN: Superfund Sites in the Great Lakes Region
GLIN: Toxic Contamination in the Great Lakes Region

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Updated: October 31, 2014
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