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E-M:/ Lake Huron Initiative Action Plan



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Enviro-Mich message from "Martha Waszak" <waszakm@state.mi.us>
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The Department of Environmental Quality today issued the Lake Huron Initiative Action Plan to address issues necessary for ensuring a sustainable Lake Huron watershed.

It identifies trends regarding specific critical pollutants, use impairments and ecosystem objectives, and actions that can be taken to address the impairments. Numerous state, local, federal and provincial agencies in the United States and Canada have been involved in developing the plan.

"In our 1997 State of the Great Lakes report, we described Lake Huron as the ‘forgotten’ lake," said G. Tracy Mehan, director of the DEQ’s Office of the Great Lakes. "State, provincial and federal governments were undertaking significant planning efforts on all of the Great Lakes except Lake Huron. In response we posed the question, ‘Have we forgotten about Lake Huron?’ Now we can sincerely answer the question * ‘No, Lake Huron is not forgotten.’"

With the Office of the Great Lakes taking the lead, state, provincial, federal and local agencies and interest groups have rallied to the call and are now actively involved in the Lake Huron Initiative, Mehan said. In just over a year, the effort has produced the Lake Huron Initiative Action Plan.
The initiative has identified important future efforts focusing on two key issues:
- Fish and wildlife habitat and biodiversity.
- Critical pollutants/use impairments.

Even though critical pollutants are a cause of use impairments (principally fish consumption advisories) and are of concern, the focus of the Lake Huron Initiative effort has been toward habitat restoration and protection. For Lake Huron, the key to its restoration is the protection of existing and restoration of degraded habitat. The focus for the initiative is on working with all levels of government and private interests toward restoration and continued protection.

"We are working with federal and local agencies to restore the chemical environment of the lake through targeted pollution-prevention efforts and ongoing sediment remediation efforts," said DEQ Director Russell Harding. "We also are moving diligently toward the removal of contaminated sediments in the Saginaw and Pine rivers. These efforts, combined with other continuing initiatives in the Lake Huron watershed, are important components of the action plan."

Because restoration and protection of the Lake Huron ecosystem is a long-term process, development of the action plan is intended to be an ongoing procedure requiring periodic refinement building upon the lessons learned, successes, new information and public input.
Copies of the Lake Huron Initiative Action Plan are available free of charge by writing to the DEQ Office of the Great Lakes, P.O. Box 30473, Lansing, MI 48909-7973, or downloading it from the Internet at 

http://www.deq.state.mi.us/ogl/huron.html



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