In the 1980s, the United States and Canadian governments identified 43 places in the Great Lakes region that had severe, long-term environmental problems. These places are called Areas of Concern (or AOCs). People in federal, state, and provincial government environmental remediation programs are working to address the problems in these areas. Funding and expert guidance are provided to AOCs to help local groups, known as Public Advisory Councils (PACs), work on these environmental problems, as well.
Muskegon Lake is one of the fourteen AOCs located in Michigan. A lot of people are working to clean up Muskegon Lake and get rid of the problems (called Beneficial Use Impairments or BUIs). Over the years, several BUIs have been removed from Michigan's AOCs as citizens, industries, and government joined together to improve our state's environmental health. In fact, after decades of hard work, some Michigan AOCs only have one or two BUIs remaining and are getting closer to being delisted.
Learn about the Area of Concern and some of the clean-up efforts:
- MDEQ: Muskegon Lake AOC
- EPA: Muskegon Lake AOC (external site)
- EPA: Great Lakes Legacy Act (external site)
Thanks to this work, one of these impairments, the Restrictions on Fish Consumption, was recently removed from Muskegon Lake. Removing this BUI shows that Muskegon Lake fish are no longer more contaminated than other fish in Michigan, but this does not mean that the fish in the lake will be free of chemicals and fish consumption guidelines. All lakes and rivers in Michigan have fish consumption guidelines. If you would like to learn more about this the difference between the Restrictions on Fish Consumption BUI and the Michigan Department of Community Health fish consumption guidelines, visit:
Eating fish is still a healthy choice for you and your family, but it is important to be sure you're choosing, cleaning, and cooking the fish the right way to reduce chemical contaminants before you eat it, regardless of where you catch it in Michigan.
Visit www.michigan.gov/eatsafefish to learn how to choose the safest fish for you and your family.
- To get the fish consumption guidelines for Muskegon Lake and other lakes and rivers in the area, check out the Eat Safe Fish Guide - Southwest Michigan.
Other links about this Michigan Area of Concern:
Michigan Great Lakes Areas of Concern Program (MDEQ website)
Return to www.michigan.gov/eatsafefish.