The Maumee Area of Concern was established in 1987 in accordance with the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, overseen by the International Joint Commission, which defined Areas of Concern. The Maumee RAP committee, set up originally under TMACOG (Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments) was made up government officials, businesses and industries, universities and other interested individuals with a passion for cleaner water. The group was charged with developing a Remedial Action Plan or RAP. Today, the Maumee RAP Committee works for clean, clear and safe water within the greater Toledo area through public education and empowerment, restoration projects, collaboration of partners and volunteer opportunities under the PCS umbrella.
The work of the Maumee RAP and its partners, including Ohio EPA, occurs in three stages aiming to permanently improve water quality of the rivers and streams of the Area of Concern by correcting and removing biological and chemical issues, or Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs). The Maumee Area of Concern has 11 Beneficial Use Impairments that impair waterways that ultimately flow into Lake Erie. These issues are being address by;
Stage 1 – Identification of environmental problems and sources (completed in 1992)
Stage 2 – Elimination of the pollution source to improve water quality (currently in progress)
Stage 3 – Protection of the improved location
The Maumee RAP undertook an ambitious effort to create the Maumee Area of Concern Stage 2 Watershed Restoration Plan, combining requirements from the International Joint Commission, USEPA’s, and Ohio’s watershed plan requirements in 2006. This regional plan helps guide the projects focused on restoring the impacted waterways. For some funding opportunities, projects must be outlined in this watershed restoration plan or reviewed and supported by the Maumee RAP Committee. A new effort is underway to update this document and provide a dynamic, online mapping tool to focus work in the Area of Concern to accelerate progress at removing BUIs.
After much discussion the Maumee RAP Committee determined in early 2007 that their best path forward for efficiency, effectiveness, and sustainability would be to form their own non-profit 501(c)3 organization and to leave the umbrella of TMACOG. In March 2007, Partners for Clean Streams (PCS) was officially created. The Maumee RAP Committee was one of PCS’s committees focusing on specific goals of addressing the Area of Concern’s Beneficial Use Impairments continuing to restore and improve the Maumee AOC until 2015. The committee is now a stand alone committee, reformed and re-named the Maumee AOC Advisory Committee (MAAC).
The Maumee RAP is a local organization set up to improve the water quality of the Maumee River and Lake Erie. It was formed in 1987 by the Ohio EPA and Federal EPA in accordance with the International Water Quality Agreement, amended in 1987 between Canada and the United States to protect the Great Lakes. The organization has undergone many different forms and now is active as a non-profit 501(c) 3 organization called Partners for Clean Streams, PCS. The Maumee RAP is also actively supported by Ohio EPA independently of PCS. The organization works with closely with governmental agencies, businesses and local partners to promote clean, safe and healthy waters in Maumee River and Lake Erie as assigned by the International Joint Commission. For more information about how the Maumee RAP was formed and what it does, please see Ohio EPA or our History of the Maumee RAP.
The Maumee Area of Concern is one of four Areas of Concern in Ohio and one of 43 AOCs in the Great Lakes. Each Area of Concern was designated by the International Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement in 1987. Areas of Concern generally include major municipal and industrial centers on Great Lakes rivers, harbors and connecting channels. The Maumee AOC includes drainages from Wood, Lucas and Ottawa counties. The Maumee River contributes the largest tributary load of suspended sediments and phosphorus into Lake Erie contributing to serious algal blooms. Heavy metals and organic chemical sediment contaminations are what also lead the Maumee watershed to be an Area of Concern. The Ohio EPA is very actively involved with all 4 of the AOCs in Ohio, including the Maumee AOC. For more information on AOCs please visit the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, EPA
Each Area of Concern in the Great Lakes has at least one of 14 Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs). A BUI is a specific issue in the environment that causes problems for wildlife and humans such as health, business, recreational or aesthetic related uses. To address the Areas of Concern and remove BUIs, Remedial Action Plans (RAPs) were formed. While each RAP is set up differently, they each have three stages:
Stage 1- Identification of environmental problems and sources
Stage 2- Elimination of the pollution source to improve water quality
Stage 3- Protection of the improved state