About Maumee River AOC
The Maumee River was designated as an Area of Concern under the 1987 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. The environmental problems were primarily due to sediment contamination and agricultural runoff. The runoff was causing large amounts of phosphorus to enter the river, ultimately leading to cultural eutrophication in Lake Erie.
The Maumee AOC covers 775 square miles and has been extended over the years to include several creeks. The Maumee River begins in Ft. Wayne, Indiana and travels more than 130 river miles to Lake Erie. 105 miles of the river are in Ohio. At 8,316 square miles, the Maumee has the largest drainage area of any Great Lakes river.
Sources of Pollution
Agriculture runoff was causing large amounts of phosphorus to enter the Maumee River, ultimately leading to cultural eutrophication in Lake Erie. Excessive amounts of nitrate and sediment also caused further pollution. Further investigation revealed there were other contaminents of concern including PCBs, heavy metals, phthalates and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from different sources such as:
- Old dumps
- Contaminated industrial sites
- Combined sewer overflows
- Disposal of dredged materials
- Added Costs to Industry and Agriculture - REMOVED 2015
- Restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption
- Eutrophication or undesirable algae
- Degradation of fish and wildlife populations
- Beach closings
- Fish tumors or other deformities
- Degradation of aesthetics
- Degradation of benthos
- Restriction on dredging activities
- Loss of fish and wildlife habitat
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The MRAC advises state and federal partners on which projects are needed to restore the AOC. The advisory committee also is an important liaison with the local community. Roles may vary from time to time but the advisory committee is critical for successful AOC restoration and for ensuring that the public has a voice in the AOC process.
Maumee River research discussion