Beneficial Use Impairments

Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs) are any biological or economical uses of the natural resource that has been negatively impacted by environmental degradation. The GLWQA outlines 14 BUIs as the criteria for listing AOCs.

At the St. Lawrence River AOC, two BUIs have been identified as impaired:

  • Restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption
  • Loss of fish and wildlife habitat

And five were identified as unknown and needing further assessment:

  • Degradation of fish and wildlife populations
  • Fish tumors or other deformities
  • Bird or animal deformities or reproduction problems
  • Degradation of benthos
  • Degradation of phytoplankton and zooplankton populations

Additionally, a 15th BUI was identified unique to the St. Lawrence River AOC: Trans-boundary Impacts. The goal of the RAP will be reached when none of these impairments exist.

The St. Lawrence River AOC Program at the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe (SRMT) was developed in October 2010 from a competitive funding award from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO) Grant GL-9722130-10. SRMT has been working diligently to make advancements on delisting targets and updating BUI statuses in the St. Lawrence River AOC, under this funding source.

On-going projects under Grant GL-9722130-10 were developed to address six (6) of the BUIs listed above. Studies are further broken down by:

Avian

Brown Bullhead Fish Tumor

Freshwater Mussel

Furbearers

Macroinvertebrates

Turtles