St. Lawrence River - Area of Concern

The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA) was signed between the United States and Canada in 1972 to affirm the importance of restoring and maintaining the Great Lakes as an essential water boundary. It also defines an Area of Concern (AOC) as an area that has been environmentally degraded according to 14 Beneficial Use Impairments (BUI). A total of 43 AOCs have been identified: 26 located in the United States; 12 in Canada; and 5 bi-national shared by both nations, which includes the St. Lawrence River AOC.

The St. Lawrence River AOC begins above the power dam facilities and seaway locks at the Massena Village drinking water intake and flows downstream for approximately 15 miles along the international border to the eastern outlet of Lake Saint Francois, and includes portions of the Grasse, Raquette, and St. Regis rivers. The entire AOC is divided by the international border: jurisdiction in the United States portion is shared between the United States, New York State and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe; while jurisdiction in the Canadian portion is shared between Canada, Ontario, Quebec and the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne.

St. Lawrence River Area of Concern at Massena/Akwesasne Map, PDF file.
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    • Areas of Concern - Dept. of Environmental Conservation Areas of Concern (AOC) are geographic areas around the Great Lakes that are environmentally degraded. In 1987, the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement designated 43 AOCs as a way to focus restoration work on these areas. Of the 43 AOCs, 26 are in the U.S., 12 are in Canada, and 5 are shared by both countries.
    • the Great Lakes - USEPA The Great Lakes form the largest surface freshwater system on Earth. More than 30 million people live in the Great Lakes basin, and the impact of their daily activities, from the water consumed to the waste returned, directly affects the Great Lakes environment. EPA leads U.S. efforts to restore and maintain the quality and ecosystems of the Great Lakes watershed.
    • Massena Nature Center - Friends of RMSP The Eugene L. Nicandri Nature Center is a brand new, state of the art nature center that opened in May 2017. The nature center is located in Robert Moses State Park in Massena, NY and managed by The Friends of the Robert Moses State Park Nature Center. The mission is to “engage visitors of all ages to promote public awareness, appreciation, and respect for the environment through exploration, education, and outdoor recreation.
    • Mohawk Council of Akwesasne As you browse through our site, you will see how geographically unique the Akwesasne Territory is, having an International Border running through our Territory and further to that, having the two provinces of Quebec and Ontario within the Canadian side of Akwesasne, where, the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, is the elected system of government.
    • Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council is the duly elected and recognized government of the Mohawk people. Both New York State and the United States deal exclusively with the Tribal Council Chiefs in a government-to-government relationship.

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