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Great Lakes AOCs

About Clinton River AOC

The Clinton River was was designated as an Area of Concern under the 1987 Great Lakes Water Quality AgreementIn 1988, a year after the Clinton River was declared an Area of Concern, the first remedial action plan document was completed.  $30 million from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has been used to remediate and restore this AOC for removal from the binational list of AOCs.  

AOC Boundaries

The Clinton River, located just north of Detroit in southeastern Michigan, flows 80 miles from its source to Lake St. Clair near the city of Mt. Clemens.   The areas of concern include the entire Clinton River watershed as well as a portion of Lake St. Clair immediately downstream. 

Sources of Pollution

The area was considered highly degraded because of:

  • conventional pollutants including high fecal coliform bacteria and nutrients
  • high total dissolved solids
  • sediment contamination caused by heavy metals, PCBs, oil and grease
  • impacted biota

Beneficial Use Impairments

Beneficial Use Impairments for the Great Lakes AOCs

  • Restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption
  • Eutrophication or undesirable algae
  • Degradation of fish and wildlife populations
  • Beach closings
  • Degradation of aesthetics
  • Degradation of benthos
  • Restriction on dredging activities
  • Loss of fish and wildlife habitat


Restoring the Clinton River AOC (timeline)


The following links exit the site Exit

MDEQ is responsible for executing many of the remedial actions that have occurred at Clinton River. Additionally, they publish the remedial action plan documents.

PAC membership represents a broad cross-section of interests that include the City of Ishpeming, environmental organizations, local businesses, recreation and wastewater treatment.

The PAC provides year-round water quality and wildlife monitoring. They also support volunteer cleanups and habitat restoration projects at stream banks, the lakeshore, public access sites and islands.