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Can the Red Run be dredged deeper ?

October 14, 2014

A Dredging Technical Committee formed by the
Michigan DEQ with state and federal experts,
found that restrictions on dredging do exist within the
Clinton River AOC due to chemical contamination.

Dredging a river

Dredging a river

Stage 2 Remedial Action Plan – Clinton River
Great Lakes Management Unit DEQ
October 1, 2011

Sediments of the Main Branch of the Clinton River from Pontiac
to the confluence with Red Run Drain are
moderately contaminated with metals, petroleum hydrocarbons,
some semi-volatile organic compounds, and nitrogen
Based on historical data, the contamination is fairly
widespread throughout this portion of the river (MDEQ, 1995).
In comparison, sediments from the
Red Run Drain/Plum Brook drainage have historically
been moderately to heavily contaminated with metals,
petroleum hydrocarbons, semi-volatile organic compounds,
and nitrogen. Contaminants of particular concern
are mercury and PCBs
because they have caused
fish consumption advisories (MDEQ, 1995).

Red Run Drain – sediment sampling and analysis
This opportunity is a Recovery and Reinvestment Act action
Solicitation Number: W911XK-09-D-0014
Agency: Department of the Army
Office: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Location: USACE District, Detroit

Snippets from the IAGLR article
as seen September 13, 2011
The International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR)
is a scientific organization made up of researchers

Reconstruction of sediment history in the Clinton River

~ “””the unique characteristics of the Clinton River
– Lake St. Clair system
appear to allow sediments to continuously build up””””

~ “””Understanding sediment accumulation is important to reconstruct
the past pollution levels, that are generated by urbanization and
industrialization along the Clinton River, in the water and sediments.
Pollution in Clinton River sediments was recognized in the early 1970s
and is considered a threat to the public health as water from the
Clinton River empties into Lake St. Clair ~”””

~ “””over a half-century worth of sediments of significant polluted
sediments appears to be preserved below depths that have been remediated.
When these polluted sediments are stirred up by storm and boat activity,
they might be carried out to Lake St. Clair where much of the Detroit area
receives their drinking water and about a third of all Great Lakes fish are caught“” ~

Original Publication Information

“Interconnected riverine-lacustrine systems as sedimentary repositories:
Case study in southeast Michigan
using 210Pb and 137Cs-based sediment accumulation and mixing models,”
are reported by Jason Jweda and Mark Baskaran
in the latest issue (Volume 37, No. 3, pp. 432-446)
of the Journal of Great Lakes Research, published by Elsevier, 2011.

For more information about the study, contact Jason Jweda,
Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University,
Palisades, NY 10964,, (845) 365-8652.

Based on data from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
Millions of gallons of combined sewage overflow often make it into
the Clinton River & Lake St. Clair, stirring up the sediment deposits.


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