Detroit River Area of Concern

Detroit River Area of ConcernAn Area of Concern (AOC) is a location where environmental quality is degraded compared to other areas in the Great Lake Basin resulting in the impairment of beneficial uses. A total of 43 AOCs were identified as a result of Annex 2 of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA).The Canada-United States GLWQA identifies 14 beneficial uses that must be restored in order to remove the designation as an Area of Concern. A beneficial use is defined as the ability of living organisms (including humans) to use the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem without adverse consequences. A Beneficial Use Impairment (BUI) is a condition that interferes with the enjoyment of a water use. Each BUI has a set of locally-defined delisting criteria that are specific, measurable, achievable, and scientifically-defensible.

The Remedial Action Plan (RAP) is administered locally in accordance with the Canada-U.S. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA) and the Canada-Ontario Agreement (COA). The RAP is an ongoing collaborative effort implemented by federal, provincial, and local governments as well as industry and public partners. There are 3 key stages of the RAP: Stage 1 is a detailed description of the environmental problem; Stage 2 identifies remedial actions and options; Stage 3 is the final document providing evidence that the beneficial uses have been restored and the AOC can be “delisted”.

The Detroit River, a 51 km-long connecting channel, is one of five binational AOCs. The Detroit River has a long history as a shipping channel and it has contributed greatly to the industrialization and development of Ontario and the north-eastern United States. As a result, however, it has been severely degraded due to frequent dredging, contamination directly into the water or indirectly by atmospheric deposition (i.e. mercury) and through the disposal of human and chemical wastes. For more information, visit and\/or view a 2010 BUI status update at: https:\/\/\/en\/detroit-river-status-beneficial-use-impairments



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