U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Senior Advisor Cameron Davis recently joined Michigan Office of the Great Lakes Director Jon Allan, Monroe Mayor Robert Clark and local partners in Monroe, Mich., to mark the near completion of restoration work at the River Raisin Area of Concern.
“The River Raisin Area of Concern cleanup is proof positive that Great Lakes Restoration Initiative investments are delivering real, on-the-ground and in-the-water results,” said Davis. “River Raisin will be the fifth AOC where all cleanup and restoration work has been completed since the start of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in 2010.”
All of the work needed to ready this site for delisting from the binational list of AOCs targeted for cleanup in the U.S.-Canadian Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement will be finished this fall. Environmental monitoring will continue at the site. After decades during which only one U.S. AOC was delisted, federal agencies have accelerated cleanup actions during the past six years by using GLRI funding.
The River Raisin AOC on the southeast portion of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula in Monroe County was affected primarily by PCBs. Since 2010, EPA has provided more than $27 million in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding to accelerate implementation of actions to restore the River Raisin AOC.
The GLRI funds have leveraged an additional $18 million in state and private funding for AOC work. The federal, state, local, and private partnerships on GLRI projects have remediated over 150,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment, restored over 300 acres of aquatic habitat, and opened up an additional 23 miles of the River Raisin to fish migration and spawning.
The GLRI is the largest Great Lakes-only investment in ecosystem recovery in U.S. history. An 11-member federal department task force, chaired by EPA, invests strategically in addressing the biggest threats to the Great Lakes ecosystem.