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Great Lakes AOCs

About the Oswego River AOC - Delisted

Oswego River Boundary MapPrintable boundary map and shapefile of the Oswego River AOCThe Oswego River/Harbor Area of Concern was was named an Area of Concern on the Great Lakes under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 1987.  Learn more about what happens after delisting.

Sources of Pollution

The area was highly degraded because of hazardous waste sites, municipal sewage discharges, combined sewer overflows, and runoff from streets and agriculture. Some of those degradations were:
  • Restriction on consumption of fish
  • Eutrophication or harmful algal blooms
  • Decline of fish populations
The AOC consisted of the harbor area and the lower segment of the Oswego River up to the Varick power dam. Contaminants found in AOC included:
  • PCBs
  • Dioxin
  • Cyanide
  • Grease
  • Oil
  • Mirex
  • Excessive levels of phosphorus.

AOC Boundaries

The Oswego River/Harbor Area of Concern is located on the southeast shore of Lake Ontario and centered in the City of Oswego, New York. 

Beneficial Use Impairments

Beneficial Use Impairments for the Great Lakes AOCs

  • Restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption - REMOVED 2006
  • Degradation of fish and wildlife populations - REMOVED 2006
  • Loss of fish and wildlife habitat - REMOVED 2006
  • Eutrophication or undesirable algae - REMOVED 2006


Restoring Oswego River AOC (timeline)


The following links exit the site Exit

FLLOWPA works to implement watershed management strategies and protect and enhance water quality in the Lake Ontario drainage basin.

The Port of Oswego played a major role in improving the aesthetics of the AOC and pollution control.

NYSDEC helped restore habitat in the AOC and conducted several studies to ensure the AOC met the criteria to be delisted.