Progress Toward Restoration
Governments and stakeholders in the Great Lakes basin have initiated or
completed a wide variety of remedial actions in various Areas of Concern in the
United States and Canada, representing considerable
investment with some well-documented successes, such as:
- The governments no longer consider Collingwood Harbour and Severn Sound
(Ontario) to be Areas of Concern because conditions have improved to the point
that beneficial uses have been restored (Box 4). The Commission concurred.
- The two governments have recognized Spanish Harbour in Ontario and Presque Isle
Bay in Pennsylvania as Areas of Concern that are in a recovery stage (Box 4).
- The U.S. government has reported that at a cost of nearly $130 million (USD),
more than 1.27 million cubic meters (1.6 million cubic yards) of sediment
contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been removed from the
Kalamazoo River, Manistique River, Maumee River, Rouge River, Saginaw River,
Saginaw Bay, and the United States side of the St. Lawrence River.
- The Canadian government reports that approximately $270 million (CAD) has been
invested by the federal and provincial governments over the last 10 years to
improve the condition of wastewater infrastructure in various Canadian Areas of
Concern. The United States government reports investing $3.4 billion (USD) to
wastewater infrastructure in two United States Areas of Concern.
The status of activities directed toward remediation of contaminated sediment,
wastewater infrastructure, and fish and wildlife habitat and restoration of
other beneficial uses are discussed in the following sections of this report.
Box 4 :
Restoration Achievements Noted in Both Canada and the United States
Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized Presque Isle Bay
as an Area of Concern in a recovery stage-the first such designation of an Area
of Concern in the United States. In Canada, Collingwood Harbour and
Severn Sound have been designated as restored and have been delisted as Areas
and Spanish Harbour has been recognized as an Area of Concern in a recovery
Progress in improving water quality in this bay surrounded by Erie,
Pennsylvania, is a microcosm of work done basinwide. In this
case, for example, $100 million (USD) has been invested to upgrade Erie's
sewer system, and pollution from major industrial sources and runoff was
In Presque Isle Bay, as in many Canadian Areas of Concern, natural recovery has
as the consensus strategy for dealing with contaminated sediment because
widespread low levels of pollutants do not pose a direct threat to the biota
living in the bay.