A considerable amount of attention is
being paid to the environmental health
of the Great Lakes. Action, on the other
hand, appears to be in shorter supply.
A September progress report on
cleanup of 43 “areas of concern”
throughout the Great Lakes found that
work was moving so slowly that completion
would take 77 years.
Most of the AOC sites in the so-called
Great Lakes Binational Toxic Strategy
were identified in the 1980s. Four of the
sites are in the Upper Peninsula, and
several others are near its Wisconsin,
Minnesota and Canadian borders.
Among them is Torch Lake, on the
northern tip of the U.P., which made
the list in 1987 after fish with tumors of
unknown origin were discovered. Also
on the list is Deer Lake/Carp River,
near Marquette, where concentrations
of mercury were found in 1981, leading
to a state ban on fish consumption.
To date, only three sites—two in
Canada and one in the United States—
have been fully remediated and taken
off the list.