Ecological Services: Environmental Contaminants
Midwest Region



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Environmental Contaminants Program in the Upper Midwest

The Environmental Contaminants Program is focused on resource management - we use science to help ensure that land use and regulatory decisions minimize impacts of environmental contaminants to fish and wildlife.


Bald eagle perched on tree snag.

Photo by USFWS

"The most alarming of all man’s assaults upon the environment is the contamination of air, earth, rivers, and sea with dangerous and even lethal materials."

Rachel Carson's Silent Spring

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, led by the Environmental Contaminants Program, is the primary federal agency dedicated to protecting wildlife and their habitat from pollution's harmful effects, helping to create a healthy world for all living things. The Midwest Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spans Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. In these states, the Environmental Contaminants Program is available to:


  • Identify sources of pollution
  • Investigate pollution effects on fish, wildlife, and habitat
  • Investigate fish and wildlife die-offs
  • Respond to oil and hazardous material spills or releases
  • Restore habitats and resources degraded by pollution
  • Provide advice to minimize the use of pesticides and fertilizer
  • Provide technical expertise to other federal agencies, states, industrial, and agricultural interests


Rachel Carson and the Environmental Contaminants Program

Our industrial heritage has brought prosperity but also a legacy of polluted water and soil that continues to impact natural resources and human well being. In Silent Spring, Rachel Carson documented that pesticides can magnify as they travel through the food chain, devastating populations of eagles, falcons, and other birds.


Carson was an employee of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the primary federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. Thanks to her pioneer work, DDT and other pesticides have been banned or regulated, eagles and falcons are making a strong comeback, and your health is better protected.


Silent Spring 50th Anniversary Essay Series


Focus Areas:

Environmental Contaminants Program Information

National Environmental Contaminants Program Fact Sheet


National Environmental Contaminants Home Page


Midwest Environmental Contaminants Fact Sheet



Midwest Ecological Services Home

Last updated: December 12, 2017