- Aquatic Connectivity- Benefitting Streams and Communities (3)
- Asian Carp (14)
- Chemicals Policy in the Great Lakes (1)
- climate-change-and-the-Great-Lakes (1)
- Conference Updates (24)
- Conservation Results for Public-Private Partnerships (3)
- Creating a Paradigm Shift…Putting the Buffalo River First!! (1)
- Emerging Contaminant Threats and the Great Lakes (4)
- Fiscal Accountablity (1)
- Getting Results: Implementing & Monitoring Habitat Restoration Projects (1)
- Gray and Green of CSO Control and Stormwater Management in Northeast Ohio (2)
- Great Lakes Congressional Watch (244)
- Great Lakes Days (3)
- Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (48)
- Great Waters (1)
- Green Returns on Blue Investments (2)
- In the News (43)
- Jobs & Economic Recovery (49)
- Keynote Speaker (2)
- Letters to the Hill (3)
- News & Events (36)
- Opening Remarks (1)
- Plastics in the Great Lakes (1)
- Policy (156)
- Areas of Concern (43)
- Asian Carp Barrier Act (21)
- Clean Water Act (2)
- Farm Bill (2)
- Great Lakes Collaboration Implementation Act (21)
- Great Lakes Ecosystem Protection Act (6)
- Great Lakes Regional Collaboration (16)
- Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (17)
- National Aquatic Invasive Species Act (5)
- Water Conservation (2)
- Presidential Candidate Forum (1)
- Press Releases (75)
- Reconnecting Lake Erie to the River Raisin (1)
- Reducing Vulnerability of Restoration Projects to Climate Change (2)
- Reports (19)
- Success Stories (55)
- Success Stories (11)
- Take Action (27)
- Testimony (1)
- Threats (113)
- Tools for Assessing Industrial Water Stewardship (1)
- Towards a Complete and Green Cleveland (1)
- Your Lake & You (9)
- Your Stories & Photos (14)
Decades of cleanup work paying off for White Lake
|Project Summary: Intensive cleanup activities have improved water quality, fish health and reduced phosphorus concentrations in White Lake, which is one of 43 Great Lakes Areas of Concern.|
Project name: White Lake Area of Concern cleanup.
Location: Whitehall, Michigan.
Description: White Lake was designated a Great Lakes Area of Concern in 1987 after contaminated groundwater beneath the former Hooker Chemical manufacturing facility seeped into the lake, polluting the water, bottom sediments and tainting fish and wildlife. A tannery on the other side of White Lake contributed to a pollution crisis that harmed the lake and gave the otherwise scenic waterway a bad reputation. The contaminants caused a variety of problems in the lake, including: Contaminated fish, eutrophication (undesirable algae); pollution of drinking water; degraded fish an wildlife populations; loss of fish and wildlife habitat; and damage to bottom dwelling organisms at the base of the lake’s food chain. Cleanup efforts over the past decade have removed tons of contaminated sediments from the lake bottom, halted the flow of polluted groundwater into the lake and reduced the amount of phosphorus entering the lakes. In May 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that White Lake no longer suffered from eutrophication, or excessive algae growth. That announcement moved the lake one step closer to being de-listed as a Great Lakes Area of Concern.
Approximate cost of project: More than $20 million in public and private funds has been spent on removing contaminated sediments at two sites in the lake. The EPA’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative provided another $2.1 million in 2011 to create fish and wildlife habitat by restoring natural features along a portion of the lake’s shoreline. The habitat restoration work is ongoing.
Resource challenges addressed: Contaminated sediments that harmed water quality, restrictions on fish consumption and excessive phosphorus loadings that caused nuisance algae growth.
Key partners (public and private): U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, city of Whitehall, city of Montague, White Lake Public Advisory Council, Grand Valley State University, Muskegon Conservation District and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory.
Types of jobs created: Biologists, chemists, toxicologists, ecologists, excavators, truck driver, heavy equipment operators and general laborers.
Results and accomplishments: Two cleanup projects removed a total of 97,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediments, which improved water quality, improved fish and wildlife populations and bolstered a resurgent tourism industry centered largely on the lake.
Web site: http://www.epa.gov/greatlakes/aoc/whitelake.html