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What's New?

New stewardship programs aim to teach students how to care for Great Lakes
Upper Peninsula Second Wave (10/15)
The Upper Great Lakes Stewardship Institute is the newest among several regional hubs across Michigan with the goal to educate students on good environmental stewardship for the Great Lakes and their watersheds.

TEACH Calendar of Events
What's going on in your neighborhood this month? Meet other people and learn together at recreational and educational events! Our new dynamic calendar is updated daily with current educational events.
TEACH Areas of Concern

table of contents
Click to see larger image. Introduction
Pollution and solutions
Lake Superior and its tributaries
Lake Michigan and its tributaries
Lake Huron and its tributaries
Lake Erie and its tributaries
Lake Ontario and its tributaries
Connecting Channels
References and more information

The Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOCs) are environmentally degraded areas within the Great Lakes basin. The U.S.-Canada Water Quality Agreement, 1987 Protocol, defined 43 Great Lakes AOCs. As of July 2000, Collingwood Harbor on Lake Huron has been the only AOC to be delisted.

To qualify as an AOC, an area must contain one or more beneficial use impairments. An impaired beneficial use means a change in the chemical, physical or biological integrity of a water body sufficient to cause any of the following:

  • restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption
  • tainting of fish and wildlife flavor
  • degradation of fish and wildlife populations
  • fish tumors or other deformities
  • bird or animal deformities or reproduction problems
  • degradation of benthos
  • restrictions on dredging activities
  • eutrophication or undesirable algae
  • drinking water restrictions, or taste and odor problems
  • beach closings
  • degradation of aesthetics
  • added costs to agriculture or industry
  • degradation of phytoplankton and zooplankton
  • loss of fish and wildlife habitat

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