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NOAA has chosen two sites in the Great Lakes—Muskegon Lake and the St. Louis River estuary—as the next Habitat Focus Areas under NOAA’s Habitat Blueprint
Muskegon Lake, Michigan
St. Louis River estuary, Minnesota/Wisconsin
Muskegon Lake is a large inland coastal lake located on the west shoreline of Michigan’s lower peninsula and connected to Lake Michigan by a deep-draft navigation channel. It provides important nursery habitat for Chinook salmon, largemouth and smallmouth bass, walleye, yellow perch and threatened native species, such as the lake sturgeon.
Muskegon Lake has experienced water quality concerns and habitat degradation from extensive shoreline filling and sediment contamination. The high levels of pollutants entering the lake caused algal blooms, reduced oxygen in the lake’s deeper water, contaminated sediments, and reduced fish and wildlife habitat.
NOAA is currently working with partners and the local community to:
The St. Louis River estuary runs along the border between Minnesota and Wisconsin and is home to the country’s busiest and largest bulk inland port. The area is also a major tourism and recreational draw.
Discharges of toxic substances have led to high concentrations of contaminants in the sediments, water column, plants and wildlife. Pollution continues to accrue from contaminated sediments, abandoned hazardous waste sites, airborne deposition, industrial discharges, chemical spills, improperly sewered wastes, and surface runoff.