Mercury contamination in the Laurentian Great Lakes region: Introduction and overview

James G. Wiener, David C. Evers, David A. Gay, Heather A. Morrison, Kathryn A. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Laurentian Great Lakes region of North America contains substantial aquatic resources and mercury-contaminated landscapes, fish, and wildlife. This special issue emanated from a bi-national synthesis of data from monitoring programs and case studies of mercury in the region, here defined as including the Great Lakes, the eight U.S. states bordering the Great Lakes, the province of Ontario, and Lake Champlain. We provide a retrospective overview of the regional mercury problem and summarize new findings from the synthesis papers and case studies that follow. Papers in this issue examine the chronology of mercury accumulation in lakes, the importance of wet and dry atmospheric deposition and evasion to regional mercury budgets, the influence of land-water linkages on mercury contamination of surface waters, the bioaccumulation of methylmercury in aquatic foods webs; and ecological and health risks associated with methylmercury in a regionally important prey fish.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-251
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
StatePublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Aquatic food webs
  • Atmospheric deposition
  • Laurentian Great Lakes
  • Mercury
  • Methylmercury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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