Report Released on Contaminated Sediment Remediation


In a report released today, the International Joint Commission's (IJC) Great Lakes Water Quality Board (GLWQB) and Sediment Priority Action Committee (SedPAC) review the ecological benefits of contaminated sediment remediation in the Great Lakes. In recognition of the scope of the contaminated sediment problem and the limited progress in addressing it, theIJC and the GLWQB have given priority to the contaminated sediment issue in their program efforts. SedPAC, which was formed from agency experts and various IJC Board members, was assigned this priority.

Contaminated sediment is a source of ecological impacts in the Great Lakes and contributes to:


  • restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption;
  • degradation of fish and wildlife populations;
  • fish, bird, or animal deformities or reproductive problems;
  • loss of fish and wildlife habitat; and
  • degradation of benthos.

In the report, SedPAC reviews what is known about contaminated sediment and sediment remediation in the Great Lakes. SedPAC also presents advice to managers and researchers on the future evaluation of the ecological effectiveness of sediment remediation.

The International Joint Commission is a binational Canada-United States organization established by the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 to help the two governments prevent and resolve disputes over use of waters along the U.S. and Canada border. Under the 1978 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, the Commission assesses progress by the two countries to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the waters of the Great Lakes basin ecosystem. Additional information about the IJC is available on the Internet at

Michael Zarull Burlington, ON (905)336-4783 National Water Research Institute, Canada Centre for Inland Waters Griff Sherbin Etobicoke, ON (416)621-7295 Sediment Priority Action Committee David Cowgill Chicago, IL (312)353-3576 United States Environmental Protection Agency Gail Krantzberg Toronto, ON (416)314-7973 Ontario Ministry of Environment