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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
State, county team up on Rouge River study
The Detroit News (7/16)
Wayne County, Michigan, officials agreed Thursday to accept a state grant and kick in funding to pay for a study on the Rouge River’s health.

Habitat restoration to begin at seven sites along Buffalo River
The Buffalo News (7/13)
A century’s worth of industrial toxins are gone from the Buffalo River. Now, the ecological restoration begins, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper announced Monday.

The St. Clair and the Detroit: A tale of two rivers, Part III
The Voice (1/23)
The Detroit River is being “rewilded,” according to the director of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. After decades of intense pollution and habitat destruction, nature and natural processes are being allowed to reestablish themselves.

The St. Clair and Detroit: A tale of two rivers, Part II
The Voice (1/17)
For decades, the Detroit River and its tributaries served as industrial dumping grounds as well as transportation arteries. In the 1960s and 1970s, citizen activists, began to demand environmental changes.

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.

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Overview
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: August 1, 2015
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