The United States and Canada created the Areas of Concern Program in 1987 under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Forty-three Great Lakes sites with environmental damage were designated as Areas of Concern in need of restoration, 14 of them in Michigan.
Michigan’s AOC program works with federal and local partners to restore these sites affected by legacy contamination and development. Two sites, White Lake and Deer Lake, have been successfully restored. Twelve are in various stages of restoration.
AOC staff members work with partners to remove contaminants from river and lake bottoms, restore fish and wildlife habitat, monitor environmental health, and fix problems created by pollution. These problems are labeled “beneficial use impairments,” or BUIs, which must meet specific standards to be removed.