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Great Lakes

Human Health Effects Research Program

Partners in Research

Lakewide Management Plans (LaMPs)

The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 1978 (amended in 1983) is a binational agreement between the United States and Canada that calls for the restoration and maintenance of the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the waters of the Great LakesImage 1 Basin Ecosystem. The Agreement also calls for the development of lakewide management plans (LaMPs) for open waters in the Great Lakes. The Plans are designed to reduce loadings of Critical Pollutants (e.g., mercury) that interfere with beneficial uses (i.e., drinking water, fishing, and swimming) and has inclusion of defining threats to human health posed by Critical Pollutants.

In 2000, ATSDR participated in the development and writing of the human health sections for the Lake Erie, Lake Michigan, and Lake Superior LaMPs and participated in human health activities for the LaMP Workgroups. More recently, ATSDR has been involved in the creation and development of the EPA-led Human Health Network composed of members from Canada and the U.S. This group will act as a resource for current, peer-reviewed documents that the LaMP Workgroups may use in their reports. The ATSDR Great Lakes Human Health Research Program web site will help the Network members to keep abreast of recent research findings from the Program's investigators. Through contribution to LaMP activities, ATSDR has participated indirectly in the Remedial Action Plan (RAP) Workgroups. The RAPs consists of remedial actions for Areas of Concern where beneficial uses have been impaired.

Fish Advisories

ATSDR has also been involved in fish advisory activities for the Great Lakes basin. ATSDR and EPA have developed brochures alerting the public about safe fish consumption guidelines and have developed a display informing the public about fish advisories. The display and the educational brochures have been shown at conferences and meetings where fish advisories are the topic of interest. Since many minorities consume Great Lakes sport fish, the brochures have been translated into English and other languages such as Chinese and Spanish.

The ATSDR-funded Consortium of Great Lakes state health departments has been responsible for developing uniform fish advisory materials that have been disseminated by the Great Lakes states at women and infant clinics, physician's offices, fairs, and other public gatherings. The information has also been distributed at meetings of health professionals, including physicians, and at public health agencies. These materials were initially developed at Fish Advisory Workshops organized by the Consortium and refined at subsequent sessions of the Workshop. The novel materials alerting the public about safe fish consumption include brochures in different languages (i.e., Hmong, Spanish), refrigerator magnets, note pads, recipe cards, drinking cups, t-shirts, and other items that catch the interest of the public and at risk groups (e.g., women of child-bearing age). These items also have a toll free telephone number where more information may be obtained.

Organizations at Work in the Great Lakes

This page was updated on 03/21/2008