About River Raisin AOC
River Raisin was designated an Area of Concern under the 1987 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Historical discharges of oils and grease, heavy metals and PCBs from industrial facilities into the river caused the environmental degradation at the AOC. Three of the nine Beneficial Use Impairments have been removed to date.
The River Raisin Area of Concern is located in the southeast portion of Michigan's lower peninsula in Monroe County. The AOC is defined as the lower 2.6 mile portion of River Raisin, downstream from the low head dam at Winchester Bridge in the City of Monroe, extending one-half mile out into Lake Erie following the Federal Navigation Channel and along the north and south nearshore zones of Lake Erie.
Sources of Pollution
- Wastewater treatment plant
- Power plants, stamp plants and other facilities
- Local landfills
PCBs and heavy metals are primary contaminants of concern. Copper, zinc and chromium contribute the most metallic pollution.
- Restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption
- Eutrophication or undesirable algae – REMOVED 2013
- Degradation of fish and wildlife populations – REMOVED 2015
- Beach closings – REMOVED 2013
- Degradation of aesthetics – REMOVED 2012
- Bird or animal deformities or reproduction problems
- Degradation of benthos
- Restriction on dredging activities
- Loss of fish and wildlife habitat – REMOVED 2015
The River Raisin Public Advisory Council formed in 2003 to assist MDEQ staff on all phases of the Remedial Action Plan project. Membership consists of citizens representing a wide range of interests such as local government, businesses, industries and environmental groups. The PAC has initiated a number of activities to benefit not only the AOC, but the entire River Raisin watershed.