UW-Green Bay part of the Great Lakes Areas of Concern conference to be held in Green Bay

Great Lakes AOC Conference

Regional Leaders Gather to Advance Great Lakes Restoration

The Fox River, Bay of Green Bay and city of Green Bay will serve as the front stage for the Great Lakes Areas of Concern Conference at the KI Convention Center on Sept. 12-14, hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and University of Wisconsin – Green Bay.

The conference brings together federal, tribal, state and local agency officials, as well as businesses, university researchers, community organizations and citizen-led groups from across the entire eight-state Great Lakes region.

Areas of Concern (or AOCs) are 43 polluted hot spots in Great Lakes rivers and harbors that were specially targeted by the U.S. and Canada for cleanup in the 1980s. To date, six sites have been removed from this list on the U.S. side – including one from Wisconsin. The Lower Menominee River, which forms the border with Michigan in northeast Wisconsin, was removed from the list in 2020. Wisconsin has four remaining AOCs: the Lower Green Bay and Fox River, Sheboygan River and the Milwaukee Estuary on Lake Michigan. On Lake Superior is the St. Louis River AOC, which Wisconsin shares with Minnesota.

Federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) funding, first launched in 2010, helps communities clean up pollution in AOCs and restore waterways. An additional infusion of funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help remove the remaining AOCs from the list of most polluted sites on the Great Lakes by 2030.

Additional information about the conference is available online. The event is open to everyone. Please register by Sept. 6.

Thanks to the Division of Continuing Education and Community Engagement for making the conference possible through their expanded conference and event planning services.

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