NPR News for Central and Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Oscoda residents raise concerns about “do not eat” advisory for Clark’s Marsh

Updated signs outside of Clark's Marsh

Oscoda residents are raising concerns about a “Do Not Eat” advisory for a local marsh which they say has not been widely publicized.

A state memo from 2019 found that Clark’s Marsh in Oscoda is likely one of the most contaminated wetland areas in Michigan.

“Do not eat” advisories for fish and deer were already in place but the memo advised they be expanded to all “aquatic and semi-aquatic wildlife” including frogs, muskrats, and turtles.

Anthony Spaniola owns a home in Oscoda and has long called for clean up at the former Wurtsmith Base, part of which drains into the marsh. He said the state hasn’t done enough to publicize the danger.

“This is an advisory that is sweeping. The most sweeping PFAs advisory in Michigan and probably the most sweeping advisory in the country. The memo was issued in December of last year and is just now being made public.”

Scott Dean is with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy which oversees the advisories. He said the state published the memo on the local health website and updated signs around the marsh.

“The facts say something different. Michigan is a leader in this. Michigan is working harder than any state in the union to protect people from unexpected consumption issues from hunting and fishing.”

For previous health advisories around the marsh, the state issued press releases.

In this instance, Dean said, the state had no reason to believe residents were eating muskrats or turtles out of the marsh.