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Restoring the Saginaw River and Bay AOC (timeline)

Year Critical Actions

2014

The third BUI is removed.

  • Loss of fish and wildlife habitat.

Construction of a rock ramp structure to allow fish passage at the Frankemuth Dam begins in fall 2014.

Frankenmuth Dam Fish Passage

2012

The Planning & Zoning Center at Michigan State University receives a two-year $399,000 grant from EPA to implement their Saginaw Bay watershed project. The project aims to prevent further degradation in the AOC by helping stakeholders with remedial actions to ensure continued water quality protection.


A restoration plan is published for the habitat and populations BUIs that details completed projects, delisting targets, and makes recommendations for future remedial projects.


Stage II of the Saginaw River and Bay remedial action plan is published.

2010

MDEQ releases an updated delisting guide for each of the BUIs in the Michigan Areas of Concern. 

2008

The first and second BUIs are removed.

  • Tainting of fish and wildlife flavor
  • Restrictions on drinking water consumption, or taste and odor

An update to the remedial action plan is published. 

2007

The Saginaw Bay Coastal Initiative begins under the direction of MDEQ. The goal is to conserve more wetland areas in the Saginaw Bay watershed while also promoting economic development in an environmentally responsible manner.

2006

The Michigan Department of Community Health begins a fish consumption advisory outreach project. It ultimately determines the need for continued partnerships between MDCH and local community groups to increase awareness regarding consumption advisories.


8,000 acres of wetlands are conserved through the Saginaw Bay Wetland Initiative.

2005

A fish passage report is published describing the benefits of dam removal for both fish and the local economy.

2004

MDNR adopts a plan for walleye recovery. Goals include restoring the balance between walleye and its predators, removing dams, providing fish passage, rehabilitating nearshore reefs, and reducing sediment deposition to the bay and its tributaries.

2002

A remedial action plan update is released focusing largely on management objectives.

2001

The majority of the PCB-contaminated sediment in the AOC is removed as part of a Natural Resources Damage Assessment. 345,000 cubic yards of sediment are removed, representing 90 percent of the residual PCBs in the lower Saginaw River. 

2000

A report is published regarding environmental impairments in the AOC that describes successful actions, next steps, and emerging issues. 

1988

Stage I of the remedial action plan was completed for the Saginaw River and Bay AOC.