Great Lakes Restoration Initiative – NOAA Program Expands into EPA Designated “Areas of Concern”
Scientists from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory completed the second phase of mussel and sediment collections from Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, and St. Clair, and the Detroit, St. Clair and St Mary’s Rivers in September. Two teams and two boats traveled a combined distance of nearly 5,000 miles over 14 days to collect the samples from over 40 sites. New sites were established in 18 Areas of Concern (AOCs) that were designated by the Environmental Protection Agency in known pollution “hot spots.” The EPA was aware of the Mussel Watch sampling being done in the region and leveraged both agencies resources by funding the additional sampling from the teams already on site. Samples will be analyzed for chemical contamination, toxicity and benthic taxonomy, and results will be used to assess pre and post remediation conditions. Funding for this effort is provided through EPA Region 5. For more information visit the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative web site and NOAA’s Enhanced Mussel Watch site effort.