Prepared for
The Partnership for the Saginaw Bay Watershed

Supported with funds from
The Dow/PIRGRIM Settlement through the Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network (WIN) and the Great Lakes Environmental Collaborative through the Bay Area Community Foundation


It has been nearly 30 years since the Saginaw River and Saginaw Bay were first identified as one of the most significant water quality problem areas of the Great Lakes. After numerous studies and the expenditure of literally hundreds of millions of dollars to address problems, it is time for an accounting of the progress that has been made to restore the area’s water resources. The purpose of this Measures of Success report is to encourage public comment that will result in a consensus for action among those who have a stake in the future of the river and bay.

The report makes the following recommendations:

  • What the river/bay restoration targets should be to have the Saginaw River/Bay removed from the list of Great Lakes Areas of Concern
  • How success should be measured
  • What steps are required to address remaining pollution sources and/or document restoration

As this report is circulated among stakeholders in the area, the targets, measures, and action steps can be modified to reflect the comments received. This report represents the collective thoughts of technicians, public officials, stakeholders, and watershed citizens who participated in the Measures of Success process. It documents the nature and extent of problems, past and present. It also describes actions that have been taken to address those problems and the results of those actions. Finally, it sets targets for the restoration of Saginaw River/Bay and its watershed, describes how progress toward those targets will be measured, and recommends actions to attain them.

This Measures of Success report focuses on the concerns that originally led to the designation of the Saginaw River/Bay as an Area of Concern. The report is not meant to be a comprehensive analysis of all the problems impacting the river and bay, many of which have emerged over the last 30 years. Instead, it provides a foundation for redirecting and refocusing efforts required to achieve and sustain the full potential benefits of this valuable natural resource.

The report has been prepared and produced under the guidance of the Partnership for the Saginaw Bay Watershed, with the financial support coming from the Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network (WIN) and the Bay Area Community Foundation. The results of the project will be used as a basis to initiate the process of removing impaired uses of the Saginaw River/Bay from the list of those previously identified by the Water Quality Board of the International Joint Commission. This project has been supported with funds from the Dow/PIRGIM settlement through the Saginaw Bay WIN and the Great Lakes Environmental Collaborative through the Bay Area Community Foundation.

A copy of the full report is available below.