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 Presque Isle Bay AOC - Delisted

Map showing AOCs boundaries in Presque Isle BayPrintable boundary map and shapefile of Presque Isle Bay AOC

Presque Isle Bay in Lake Erie was designated as an Area of Concern under the 1987 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. In February 2013, after reviewing the success of cleanup activities, Presque Isle Bay was removed from the binational list of AOCs.  Learn more about what happens after delisting.

AOC Boundaries

The Presque Isle Bay AOC was located in the northwest corner of Pennsylvania, on the southern shore of Lake Erie. The bay is bounded by the mainland and City of Erie to the south and east, and Presque Isle to the north and west. The Presque Isle Bay watershed is about 25 square miles.

Sources of Pollution

Waste disposal practices before state and federal regulatory programs were established had resulted in the discharge of industrial and domestic wastewater into the bay or to its streams and tributaries. This contaminated the bay with pollutants such as excessive nutrients, organic compounds and heavy metals. Point sources of pollution include steel mills, a foundry, water treatment plants and other industrial facilities. Combined sewer overflows and urban runoff contribute to nonpoint pollution.

An evaluation identified two main pollutants in the sediment:
  • heavy metals such as nickel, lead and cadmium
  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)

Beneficial Use Impairments

Beneficial Use Impairments for the Great Lakes AOCs

  • Fish tumors and other deformities - REMOVED 2012
  • Restrictions on dredging - REMOVED 2007

Presque Isle Bay AOC was delisted in 2013.


Restoring Presque Isle Bay AOC (timeline)


Pennsylvanaia DEP was responsible for implementing several of the projects aimed at removing Beneficial Use Impairments. DEP made the final recommendation to EPA to delist the Presque Isle Bay AOC.

The Presque Isle Bay PAC provided advice to Pennsylvania DEP in developing a remedial action plan to restore beneficial uses in the bay.  As a community partnership, the PAC’s mission is to enhance and protect the environmental quality and economic vitality of the Bay and its watershed. Members came from all sectors of the community, including local, state and federal agencies, environmental and civic organizations, academia and industry.  With the bay no longer on a watch list, the Presque Isle Bay Public Advisory Committee has joined the new Pennsylvania Great Lakes Lake Erie Environmental Forum.