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  Areas of Concern (AOCs)
in the Great Lakes Region

What's New | Overview | General Resources | Education | Lake Erie | Lake Huron
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Programs | Publications | Related Resources

 
What's New
Planned nuclear waste facility raises fears for Great Lakes
Detroit Free Press (4/13)
Some materials that would be stored in a proposed underground nuclear waste facility less than a mile from Lake Huron are hundreds of times more radioactive than was told to Canadian government officials considering the site.

Shore restoration project in Marysville wins engineering award
The New Baltimore Voice (4/8)
The firm that engineered Marysville, Michigan’s new “living shoreline” has been recognized for its work with the James L. Bliskey Quality of Life Project of the Year Award for 2014. Cardno JFNew is the ecological consulting and restoration firm based in West Olive, that designed the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funded project.

Paperwork coming together to remove White Lake from list of toxic hot spots in Great Lakes region
Michigan Radio (4/4)
An inland lake north of Muskegon that was once one of the most polluted places surrounding the Great Lakes is making big progress. Most of the pollution in White Lake was caused by a chemical company that dumped waste into the water decades ago.

EDITORIAL: Smarter farming, cleaner water
The Columbus Dispatch (3/5)
Recent actions by state and federal lawmakers, as well as a coalition of groups concerned with farming and clean water, show that a movement is underway to curb the phosphorus pollution that is choking waterways throughout the Midwest with toxic algae.

Sunken Great Lakes oil pipeline raises spill fears
ABC News (3/3)
Concern has risen in the past year about the Enbridge pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac because of serious spills in other states.

Pet coke storage controversy isn't over, just relocated a few miles downriver
Detroit Free Press (3/3)
Detroit Bulk Storage is seeking approval from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to openly store piles of pet coke and other materials on a 15-acre riverfront site.

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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: April 17, 2014
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