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

Saginaw River and Bay AOC

Contact Us

Kevin O'Donnell

On this page: 


The Saginaw River and Bay was designated as an Area of Concern under the 1987 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Contaminated sediments, fish consumption advisories, degraded fisheries and loss of significant recreational values are the major reasons for this AOC designation. Saginaw Bay priorities include nonpoint pollution control, wetland and habitat restoration, and remediation of sediment contaminated with dioxin, PCBs and other organics. 

AOC Boundaries

The Saginaw Bay area, located in the east central portion of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, is a southwestern extension of Lake Huron. The boundaries of the Area of Concern includes the entire 22-mile length of the Saginaw River and all of Saginaw Bay out into its interface, with open Lake Huron at an imaginary line drawn between Au Sable Point and Point Aux Barques.

Sources of Pollution

  • Industrial waste discharges
  • Municipal, industrial and stormwater discharges
  • Combined sewer overflows
  • Agricultural and urban runoff

Contaminants in the AOC include dioxins, furans, PCBs, chloride, metals, acids, and excessive nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus.

Top of Page

Beneficial Use Impairments

General information about BUIs: Beneficial Use Impairments for the Great Lakes AOCs

  • Restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption
  • Eutrophication or undesirable algae
  • Tainting of fish and wildlife flavor – REMOVED 2008
  • Restrictions on drinking water consumption, or taste and odor – REMOVED 2008
  • Degradation of fish and wildlife populations
  • Beach closings
  • Degradation of aesthetics
  • Bird or animal deformities or reproduction problems
  • Degradation of benthos
  • Degradation of phytoplankton and zooplankton populations
  • Restriction on dredging activities
  • Loss of fish and wildlife habitat – REMOVED 2014

Top of Page

Remediation and Restoration Work

EPA has continually worked with federal, state and local partners to execute remediation and restoration work in the area with the ultimate goal of removing the AOC designation and revitalizing the surrounding communities.


Top of Page


The following links exit the site Exi

Top of Page