DEQ receives grant for Manistique River cleanup

The Manistique River will receive continued funding to help clean up the water system.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is giving the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality $5.2  million grant to help clean up contaminated sediment from industrial waste in the Manistique River.

The grant money comes after the NOAA awarded the Manistique River a $1 million grant in August.

The DEQ will use the grant to develop and implement measures to remediate poly-chlorinated biphenyls contamination in the Manistique River.

“Restoring the Great Lakes and the rivers flowing into them is of immense importance to the health and prosperity of millions in Michigan and beyond,” Senator Carl Levin said in a press release. “We’ve already made great progress in restoring the Manistique River, and this grant will ensure that vital work can continue.”

“Michigan is home to thousands of miles of coastline and rivers that attract tourists from across the country, contributing billions to our economy,” Senator Debbie Stabenow said in a press release.  “This major investment, made possible through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, will go a long way to continue cleaning up pollution and conserve the beautiful natural resources in the Manistique watershed for generations to come.”

The Manistique River has been an Area of Concern since the late 1980’s, due to repeated contamination from PCB’s, oils, and sewer overflows.  The river’s watershed has been degraded after over one-hundred years of logging and milling in the area.

There have been restrictions on dredging and fish and wildlife consumption, and beach closings.

The project is expected to reduce PCB levels in the river’s harbor and channel, with the hopes of lifting dredging restrictions and fish PCB concentrations returning to safe levels.

The funding is part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative that targets significant problems in the Great Lakes Ecosystem.