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Also: Lake St. Clair
  Remedial Actions Plans (RAPs)
for the Great Lakes Areas of Concern

Overview | General Resources | Related Resources

What's New
Detroit River comeback benefits Lake Erie
Port Clinton News Herald (12/10)
During the '60s, Lake Erie was viewed as a dead lake, fouled with pollution and toxic algae. With it suffered the Detroit River. In recent years, Detroit has reclaimed habitat and natural areas. Even areas still heavily industrialized along the river have seen a recovery.

Deer Lake removed from EPA Areas of Concern list
ABC 10 UP - Ishpeming, MI (11/13)
Deer Lake was on the EPA’s environmental Areas of Concern list from 1987 until two weeks ago. An Ishpeming man got to swim in the lake this summer for the first time in an entire lifetime of living near it.

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."

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.

White Lake rising: Toxic hot spot no more, lake moves beyond chemical past
MLive (8/11)
White Lake's decades-long comeback from open sewer and chemical catch-basin has been nothing short of amazing. By the end of 2014, White Lake will be one of the first two Michigan sites to be removed from a list of "toxic hot spots" called the Great Lakes Areas of Concern.

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.

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Remedial Action Plans (RAPs) identify specific problems in severely degraded Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOC) and describe methods for correcting them. Forty-three such areas have been identified by the U.S. and Canadian governments; 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 U.S.-Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA), as amended via the 1987 protocol, directed the two federal governments to cooperate with state and provincial governments to develop and implement Remedial Action Plans for each Area of Concern. RAPs are typically compiled by a state or provincial department in charge of natural resources; then they are signed by the secretary or minister of that department and submitted to the International Joint Commission for comment.
As outlined in Annex 2 of the GLWQA, each RAP should take an ecosystem approach to restoring and protecting beneficial uses in Areas of Concern. Each RAP will include problem identification, steps to solve such problems including determination of responsible parties and timetable for action, and documentation that problems are resolved.
Because each AOC is faced with different environmental problems, each RAP will be unique in the beneficial uses that are impaired and the options chosen for remediation. One plan may have a large human health component while another focuses largely on contaminated sediments. The goal is to have a final product that accurately reflects the environmental conditions, encompasses the concerns of all stakeholders and has a commitment for implementation.

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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.

Canadian Great Lakes Remedial Action Plan Updates
Our Great Lakes, Environment Canada
Provides progress reports for the 17 AOCs in Canada for lakes Erie, Huron, Ontario and Superior, and the connecting channels.

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.

Great Lakes Remedial Action Plans
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Great Lakes Regional Headquarters
An overview of the Corps' program to support RAP development and implementation.

Michigan Great Lakes Areas of Concern Program
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
Provides basic information on the Michigan AOCs, RAPs and LaMPs.

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Related Resources
GLIN: Areas of Concern in the Great Lakes Region
GLIN: Beneficial Uses in the Great Lakes Areas of Concern
GLIN: Lakewide Management Plans (LaMPs)

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Updated: December 22, 2014
Maintained by: Christine Manninen, manninen@glc.org
Selected Photos: Copyright ©John and Ann Mahan
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