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  Remedial Actions Plans (RAPs)
for the Great Lakes Areas of Concern

Overview | General Resources | Related Resources

 
What's New
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.

Niagara River back from the brink
Niagara This Week (12/6)
A quarter century after serious cleanup efforts of the Niagara River got underway, much headway has been made in reducing pollution levels in the vital waterway, however, many challenges remain.

COMMENTARY: Let's take care of Presqu'ile Bay
Northumberland News (10/21)
Unfortunately Presqu'ile Bay, Ont., is succumbing to nutrient enrichment and has not been properly cared for or even routinely assessed for environmental health. Yearly assessments of and remediation of the underlying problems are required.

US, Canada renew Great Lakes pact; Cleanup, restoration work to continue
The Associated Press (9/8)
The United States and Canada renewed a 40-year-old Great Lakes environmental pact Friday, pledging stepped-up efforts to reduce pollution, clean contaminated sites and prevent exotic species invasions.

Deadline for comment on bay's status extended
Erie Times-News (9/8)
People now have a little longer to express their opinions about an effort to take Presque Isle Bay off a watch list. The public comment period has been extended to Oct. 1 for the plan that recommends removing the bay from the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement's Areas of Concern list.

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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: July 30, 2014
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