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Contaminated Sediments Program

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Preliminary Investigation Of The Extent And Effects Of Sediment Contamination In White Lake, MI

White Lake is a 2,571 acre, drowned-rivermouth lake located on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan in Muskegon County. White Lake was designated an Area of Concern (AOC) in 1985 by the International Joint Commission because of historical discharges of heavy metals and organic chemicals. Recent and historical studies have indicated extensive contamination of sediments in White Lake. Elevated levels of chromium, lead, arsenic, and mercury were detected in the northeastern section of the lake in 1982. The current extent of sediment contamination in the area near Tannery Bay is unknown with respect to spatial and vertical distribution. Since previous studies have focused only on chemical contamination, the ecological effects of the heavy metal contamination have not been evaluated.

The objectives of this investigation were to define the ecological effects of the heavy metal contamination in Tannery Bay and to conduct a preliminary assessment of heavy metal contamination in eastern White Lake.


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