On Saturday August 4, The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued a “Do Not Eat” advisory (https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/0,5885,7-339–474469–,00.html) for multiple sites along the Huron River in Oakland, Livingston, and Washtenaw counties. This advisory is for all fish between the Huron River at Milford to the Huron River at Base Line and Portage Lakes. This includes Metroparks properties at Kensington and Huron Meadows Metropark. Until further notice, fish caught in these parks should not be consumed. To respond to this advisory, our Metroparks Natural Resources Department has compiled the following questions and answers:
Q: What caused the “Do Not Eat” advisory for fish in these bodies of water?
A: Fish tissue samples from Kent Lake were found to contain elevated levels of Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), an industrial chemical used in waterproofing various consumer goods and a component in firefighting foam.
Q: Which fish species are subject to the “Do Not Eat” advisory?
A: All fish species are subject to the advisory.
Q: How does this advisory effect water-based recreation at the Metroparks?
A: It is safe to interact and handle fish caught from these waters, as long as they are not consumed. There is no concern with paddling, boating, swimming, or otherwise being in the water. Swimmers should avoid swallowing excessive amounts of water but are not in danger of absorbing PFOS through skin contact with the water.
Q: What is the Metroparks doing to address this issue?
A: Our Metroparks Natural Resources Department is working with the Michigan DNR, Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), and DHHS to better understand the events that led to the advisory, and what steps need to be taken to begin to address the problem.
Q: Where can I get more information on the “Do Not Eat” advisory or PFOS contamination?
A: To Learn more about PFOS and related chemical contamination in Michigan waters, visit: https://www.michigan.gov/pfasresponse To Learn more about eat safe fish guidelines and chemical contamination in fish, visit: https://www.michigan.gov/eatsafefish