The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the City and County of Muskegon announced the completion of a contaminated sediment removal project at the Division Street Outfall to Muskegon Lake. This project brings Muskegon Lake closer to being removed from a binational list of Areas of Concern in the Great Lakes.
“The work by federal, state, county, city and other partners over the years has helped deliver real results under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative,” said Cameron Davis, Senior Advisor to the EPA Administrator. “This work will help boost human, ecological and local economic health. But we can’t stop here. We’re looking for new partners to match funds to accelerate cleanups in other Areas of Concern in Michigan and around the Great Lakes.”
The $12 million project under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative’s Legacy Act removed about 43,000 cubic yards of sediment contaminated with mercury and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs. The contamination contributed to limits on eating fish caught in the lake, as well as loss of habitat and other environmental problems.
“The State of Michigan is excited to work with the EPA Great Lakes Legacy Act in cleaning up our Areas of Concern. We appreciate the time and effort of the local partners in restoring the values of the Muskegon Lake area to the local community,” said Patty Birkholz, Director of the Office of the Great Lakes.
The Muskegon Lake Area of Concern includes the entire lake, which is separated from Lake Michigan by sand dunes and a navigation channel.
Dredging Today Staff, May 15, 2012; Image: epa