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Priority Area: Saginaw Bay
Saginaw Bay, including the Saginaw River watershed and the bay’s coastal zone.
PROBLEMS: Historic and ongoing chemical and biological pollution have caused significant degradation and 14 beneficial use impairments in the Saginaw River and Saginaw Bay, including: deformities in some fish and wildlife; taste and odor problems in drinking water; beach closings and restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption. Blooms of harmful and noxious algae degrade water quality and threaten human health, fish and wildlife; destruction of wetlands has caused extensive habitat loss; and invasive species are widespread, particularly foreign mussels and Phragmites along the shoreline.
RESTORATION OPPORTUNITIES: Because Saginaw Bay plays an important role in broader Lake Huron functions, restoring wetlands and nearshore habitat could reap significant dividends for fish and wildlife; reducing nonpoint source pollution from urban and rural areas could slow eutrophication in the bay and reduce the incidence of harmful and noxious algae blooms; and controlling Phragmites, an invasive reed, could help restore native plant communities along the shoreline.