An official website of the United States government.

We've made some changes to If the information you are looking for is not here, you may be able to find it on the EPA Web Archive or the January 19, 2017 Web Snapshot.

Great Lakes AOCs

About Manistique River AOC

Manistique River AOC Boundary MapPrintable boundary map and shapefile of Manistique River AOCThe Manistique River in Michigan was designated as an Area of Concern under the 1987 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. $5.2 million from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is being used to remediate and restore this AOC for removal from the binational list of AOCs.  A collaboration of local, state and federal organizations are working together to complete the last remaining restoration actions needed to delist the Manistique River Area of Concern. These actions will address the contamination causing fish consumption advisories and restrictions on dredging activities.

AOC Boundaries

The Manistique River flows southwest through Schoolcraft County in Michigan's central Upper Peninsula, discharging into Lake Michigan at Manistique. It was named an AOC under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 1987.

Sources of Pollution

The highly degraded area contained:
  • historical waste from sawmills, a paper mills, and small industries
  • High level PCB sediment contamination
  • Prior Superfund cleanup
The Area of Concern includes:
  • The last 1.7 miles of Manistique River
  • The Manistique Harbor at the mouth of Lake Michigan

Beneficial Use Impairments

Beneficial Use Impairments for the Great Lakes AOCs

  • Restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption
  • Degradation of benthos – REMOVED 2006
  • Restriction on dredging activities
  • Beach closings – REMOVED 2009
  • Loss of fish and wildlife habitat – REMOVED 2008


Restoring the Manistque River AOC (timeline)


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is also contributing to cleanup efforts. The administration’s marine debris removal project is being funded by Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

USGS is determing the quanity of exposure and effects of both historical and new contaminants at AOCs across the Great Lakes.

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