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Revitalizing Local Waterfront Economies: The Great Lakes Legacy Act

John Karl, UW Sea Grant Videographer

Video, published May 2013, 10:51 minutes

When polluted lakes and rivers are cleaned up, local communities can see economic benefits to the tune of billions of dollars, according to the Brookings Institute. A new video, “Revitalizing Local Waterfront Economies: The Great Lakes Legacy Act,” offers a rundown on this federal and local partnership program, its procedures and successes.

This 10-minute video, funded by a grant from the EPA Great Lakes National Program Office, explores Great Lakes waterways blighted by decades of industrial discharges like heavy metals, oil and chemicals such as PCBs and PAHs. The 2002 U.S. Legacy Act created an initiative to clean up contamination in these places, designated areas of concern (AOC) by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The video informs anglers, boaters, marina operators and local businesses of the benefits that can come from a remediated AOC. The procedures and successes are the result of strong partnerships among states, municipalities, non-governmental organizations and businesses. Under this voluntary, collaborative program, the EPA and its nonfederal partners have allocated almost $400 million toward sediment remediation.

“Cleaner lakes and rivers improve human health, fish and wildlife health, recreation, tourism and redevelopment so that residents can better capitalize on these opportunities,” said Caitie McCoy, an Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant environmental social scientist and co-producer of the video.

This video can be viewed online at

or at a href=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puA0G1_TJB0&feature=c4-overview-vl&llist=PL700550DAB707B890

Publication #: WISCU-V-13-005

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