About Toxic Substances
Years after pollution stops persistent pollutants can remain in the environment, often trapped in sediments below the surface of the water. The areas of the Great Lakes Basin most severely impacted by these pollutants are known as Areas of Concern (AOCs). USFWS will work to restore and protect aquatic ecosystems in the Great Lakes from the threat of persistent pollutants. In addition, the USFWS is initiating an effort to address the looming threat of emerging contaminants, such as hand sanitizers, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products, in the Great Lakes.