Cleaning Up Toxic Pollution
in the Great Lakes
Great Lakes restoration investments are cleaning up toxic pollution to protect the health of people and wildlife, but there is more work to do. New pollutants are being discovered even while legacy pollution is still being cleaned up. We can’t cut funding now—delays will only make problems more expensive and harder to solve.
Federal Investments are Cleaning Up Toxic Pollution
Some of the most seriously polluted areas of the Great Lakes have been restored, with fish and wildlife thriving, native plants flourishing, and economic activity returning once more. Four of these toxic hotpots, called Areas of Concern, have been restored with eight more well on their way to being restored. In the process, more than 3.5 million cubic yards of contaminated sediment was removed or contained.
But Serious Threats Remain
More than two dozen Areas of Concern still have a serious impairment: degraded habitat, fish consumption advisories, drinking water advisories, and swimming restrictions. New toxic pollutants are being discovered, like PFAS (Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances), which has contaminated drinking water in the region. The federal government should continue funding clean-up work through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in partnership with other sources of funding, like the Superfund.
Contact Your Member of Congress
Let your members of congress know they should take action to protect the Great Lakes! Find out how to contact your senators and representative here. Tell them:
- The Great Lakes are our most important source of fresh water, providing drinking water to 30 million people. We must continue our efforts to clean and restore them.
- Although we have made progress the lakes still face serious threats.
- We can’t afford to stop now. These projects to clean up our lakes will only get harder and more expensive the longer we wait.
FEATURED SUCCESS STORY
Cleanup Gives New Life to Minnesota Waterway
Fish and wildlife have returned to a Minnesota waterway that for decades was one of the worst pollution sites in the Great Lakes.