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Great Lakes AOCs

About the Ashtabula River AOC

map showing the state approved boundary of the Ashtabula River AOCAshtabula River AOC Boundary MapThe Ashtabula River was designated as a Great Lakes Area of Concern under the 1987 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.  Of the six environmental impairments that were originally present, three remain. All management actions at the AOC have been completed. EPA will support monitoring and evaluation to determine when environmental conditions have been restored so that the AOC can be delisted.

AOCs Boundaries

The Ashtabula River AOC lies in extreme northeast Ohio. The Ashtabula River flows into Lake Erie's central basin at the city of Ashtabula. The city of Ashtabula is the only significant urban center in the watershed. The rest of the drainage basin is located in predominantly rural and agricultural areas. Major tributaries include Fields Brook and Strong Brook.

Beneficial Use Impairments

Beneficial Use Impairments for the Great Lakes AOCs

  • Restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption -REMOVED 2014
  • Degradation of fish and wildlife populations -REMOVED 2014
  • Loss of fish and wildlife habitat -REMOVED 2014
  • Degradation of benthos
  • Restriction on dredging activities
  • Fish tumors or other deformities


Restoring Ashtabula River AOC (timeline)

Ashtabula River Legacy Act Cleanup

Fields Brook Superfund Site 


USACE has been responsible for much of the dredging in the AOC and has removed thousands of pounds of contaminated sediment.

USFWS has worked with other agencies to create a Natural Resources Damage Assessment for the Ashtabula River.

The following links exit the site Exit

The Port Authority has worked on several projects in the AOC including dredging and the construction of a boat dock with a free sanitary pump-out station.

Ohio EPA participates in restoration projects, monitors the river, prepares TMDL reports and sets the delisting targets for the Ashatbula River AOC.