Restoration in the Great Lakes began unofficially on 22 June 1969 after the Cuyahoga River caught fire as a result of industrial pollution. Public reaction to media reports of the fire resulted in the first Earth Day in 1970 and eventually the beginning of the modern environment movement in the USA.

In 1987 a treaty was signed between the USA and Canada to create Areas of Concern (AOCs) along the Great Lakes. These were rivers and watersheds that fed the Great Lakes, and were where industrial pollution was the most severe and restoration most needed. Restoration efforts accelerated in 2010 ...


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