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St Marys River Area

St. Marys 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. Marys River is one of the twelve remaining AOCs located in Michigan, and one of two sites shared internationally with Ontario, Canada. 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.

Eat Safe Fish

  • Check the Eat Safe Fish Guide to learn about choosing and eating safer fish from lakes and rivers in Chippewa County, including the St. Marys River.
  • To get the fish consumption guidelines for other lakes and rivers in Michigan, check out the regional Eat Safe Fish Guides.
  • Eat Safe Fish from Areas of Concern - For more information about Areas of Concern and the Fish Consumption Beneficial Use Impairment.

Learn more about our partners and the Rouge River Area of Concern:

To get free print copies of the Guides, please call MDHHS at 1-800-648-6942.