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Great Lakes Article:

Manistique River cleanup makes ground
Published December 18, 2006

MANISTIQUE — The Manistique River now has one less beneficial use impairment thanks to cleanup efforts undertaken in recent years. AOCs are sites along the Great Lakes experiencing severe environmental degradation stemming primarily from historic pollution.

Remedial actions in the area over the past 10 years, including the removal of sediments contaminated with PCBs and other industrial waste, have allowed the Department of Environmental Quality to remove the Manistique River’s Degradation of Benthos impairment. Benthos refers to small organisms that typically live along the bottom of the river.

“This action demonstrates that progress has been made in restoring the quality of the Manistique River,” said DEQ Director Steven E. Chester. “The DEQ is committed to protecting and enhancing the health of the Great Lakes and will continue to address sources of contamination in Michigan’s Great Lake Areas of Concern.”

Support for the action was provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and local Public Advisory Council. Of the 40 current Great Lakes AOCs, 14 are located in Michigan. They include rivers, lakes, and bays located on the Great Lakes across the state. Michigan’s AOC Program is administered by the DEQ’s Water Bureau, in collaboration with other state and federal agencies and local stakeholders.

“The good news that small aquatic creatures in Manistique River are no longer contaminated is due in part to the successful Superfund cleanup of contaminated sediment in the river,” said EPA Regional Administrator Mary Gade.

“EPA continues to work with Michigan to clean up contaminated hot spots on the Great Lakes under the Great Lakes Legacy Act and other programs and we look forward to repeating this success in other places.”

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