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St Clair River Area

St. Clair River Area of Concern

In the 1980s, the United States and Canadian governments identified 43 places in the Great Lakes region that had severe, long-term environmental problems. These places are called Areas of Concern (or AOCs). People in federal, state, and provincial government environmental remediation programs are working to address the problems in these areas. Funding and expert guidance are provided to AOCs to help local groups, known as Public Advisory Councils (PACs), work on these environmental problems, as well.

The St. Clair River is one of the twelve remaining AOCs located in Michigan. Although the environment is improving over time and people are working to restore the river, there are still chemicals on the bottom of the river. It’s safe to play and swim in the water, but you should be careful when choosing fish to eat.

Beneficial Use Impairments vs. Fish Consumption Guidelines

Thanks to this work, one of these impairments, the Restrictions on Fish Consumption, will soon be removed from the St Clair River Area of Concern. Removing this BUI shows that St Clair River fish are no longer more contaminated than other fish in Michigan, but this does not mean that the fish in the river will be free of chemicals and fish consumption guidelines. All lakes and rivers in Michigan have fish consumption guidelines. If you would like to learn more about this the difference between the Restrictions on Fish Consumption BUI and the Michigan Department of Community Health fish consumption guidelines, visit:

Eat Safe Fish

Learn more about our partners and the St. Clair River Area of Concern:

To get free print copies of any of these flyers or brochures, please call MDHHS at 1-800-648-6942