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Great Lakes AOCs

Restoring St. Marys River AOC (timeline)

Year Critical Actions
2018 MDEQ  releases an updated BUI Restoration guide for each of the BUIs in the Michigan Areas of Concern - May 2018 (PDF) (65 pp, 1.1 M, About PDFExit

The third and fourth BUIs are removed.

  • Beach Closing
  • Eutrophication

USACE provides preliminary design for Ashmund Creek Culvert, replacing Neebish Rock. Ashmund Creek design plus construction of the Little Rapids project will complete habitat restoration at St. Mary's River.

The first and second beneficial use impairments are removed.

  • Degradation of aesthetics
  • Bird or animal deformities or reproduction problems


Two beneficial use impairments are recommended for removal.


A stage II RAP implementation annex is produced which details specific projects that will address the removal of the St. Mary’s River BUIs.


The results of an E. coli study are released that assessed the necessity for a TMDL in the river.

Cleanup begins at the St. Mary’s river manufactured gas plant site as part of the Great Lakes Legacy Act. 26,000 cubic yards of PAH - contaminated sediment is removed from the site, currently operated by MCM Marine.

MDEQ (MDNRE at the time) releases an updated BUI Restoration guide for each of the BUIs in the Michigan Areas of Concern


An update to the Michigan – portion RAP is published.


A restoration plan that addresses the fish and wildlife beneficial use impairments is released.

The St. Mary’s Water Quality Network is formed to promote public outreach efforts regarding the fish tumors impairment.


Cleanup of the St. Mary’s River/Tannery Bay Great Lakes Legacy Act site is completed. The $8 million project primarily removes mercury and chromium from the river sediment.

An update to the Michigan-portion RAP was published.


Consumers Energy conducts remediation work at a decommissioned manufactured gas plant downstream of Sault Edison power plant. 5,000 cubic yards of contaminated shoreline sediment is removed.


A report on fish population dynamics is published that addresses population characteristics of five major fish species in the river.


Stage II of the St. Marys Remedial Action Plan is published.


Algoma Steel voluntarily signs an environmental management agreement, though they have spent over $55 million since 1990 on environmental improvements and monitoring projects.


The Four Agency Letter of Commitment is signed. U.S. EPA, Environment Canada, MDEQ, and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment agree to cooperate through a binational program emphasizing the restoration and delisting of Areas of Concern.


Stage I of the Remedial Action Plan is published.