- Contact information
- For more information, please contact:
- Kendra Axness
LaMP and AOC coordinator
Office of the Great Lakes
Area of Concern (AOC) restoration/sediments
The Great Lakes and the rivers that feed them have been historically important centers of trade and industry in Wisconsin. As cities grew around these economic hubs, river and harbor sediments were polluted by chemicals. Important fish and wildlife habitat was lost. Today, the pollution and habitat loss cause problems for fish and wildlife and diminish our ability to fully use and enjoy the rivers and lakes.
The Great Lakes rivers and harbors that have been most severely affected by pollution and habitat loss are labeled as "Areas of Concern," or AOCs. These are geographically–defined sites that need special attention. They were designated in 1987 as part of an international agreement between the U.S. and Canada known as the "Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement". Wisconsin has five Areas of Concern: the St. Louis River on Lake Superior; the Lower Menominee River; Lower Green Bay and Fox River; Sheboygan River; and Milwaukee Estuary on Lake Michigan. The goal of the AOC program is to clean up and restore these areas so that they are comparable to similar areas on the Great Lakes.
DNR’s Office of the Great Lakes is providing leadership for cleaning up these areas in the following ways:
- providing a long–term vision and plan for the Great Lakes in Wisconsin;
- ensuring that everyone who lives in and visits Wisconsin can use and enjoy our Great Lakes waters;
- developing a common understanding of the steps, decisions and roles in the AOC Program;
- bringing citizens, nonprofit organizations, municipal leaders and agencies together to restore the Great Lakes; and
- sharing the good news about the work that is being accomplished.
Wisconsin DNR Area of Concern (AOC) newsletter
The Wisconsin Lakesider is the DNR’s bi–annual AOC newsletter. Each edition includes some of the latest highlights of what’s going on around the state at each of Wisconsin’s five designated Great Lakes AOCs.
Select an AOC to learn more about events and volunteer opportunities as well as subscribe to the Wisconsin Lakesider:
- St. Louis River
- Lower Menominee River
- Lower Green Bay and Fox River
- Sheboygan River
- Milwaukee Estuary