Wisconsin river cleanup headed for finish line

A prolonged effort to clean up toxic sediment in Wisconsin’s Sheboygan River will soon be completed.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Sheboygan officials recently announced that more than $50 million would be allocated to cleaning up the Sheboygan River Area of Concern. The river is one of 39 toxic hot spots in the Great Lakes.

The EPA will provide $57 million for work in the Sheboygan River AOC, which is on Lake Michigan; much of that money will be provided by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.  The State of Wisconsin, the City of Sheboygan and Sheboygan County are contributing $5 million to the final phase of the clean up.

“By the end of the year, we will complete all of the work needed to ‘delist’ the Sheboygan River AOC,” said Susan Hedman, U.S. EPA Region 5 Administrator and Great Lakes National Program Manager. “Thanks to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and our dedicated local, state and federal partners, we are finally getting the most contaminated sites on the Great Lakes cleaned up.”

Sheboygan Mayor said Mayor Terry Van Akkeren said the work would restore the river and strengthen the local economy.

“After almost 30 years, having the Sheboygan River cleaner and deeper will add significant benefits both recreationaly and financially to our local economy that already provides almost a $9 million waterfront economic impact,” Van Akkeren said.

EPA contractors will dredge contaminated sediments from two sites in the river. Three other projects will restore fish and wildlife habitat in the river. Go here for more details.



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