WHITE LAKE, MICH. -- White Lake was named a toxic hot spot in 1985. Today, the town of the same name is celebrating the completion of a 30 year clean-up project.
"It's just a tremendous surprise, because we were thinking it would take a little bit longer," said White Lake resident Tanya Cabala.
Now, after three decades of work from the community and the government, the lake was "delisted."
"It takes a lot of work in terms of getting habitat back online for fish and wildlife, getting chemicals cleaned up, making sure that beaches and recreation are safe all over again," said Cameron Davis of the Environmental Protection Agency.
A $2.1 million grant from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was a game changer, money spent that could help bring this small town back to life.
"It's right in the middle," Cabala said. "Right smack dab in the middle of the community. It's the center of all our activity and our economic activity. It's why people live here."
White Lake was one of 14 areas of concern around the Great Lakes. Now EPA officials hope clean up at other locations continues to pick up.
"We want White Lake to set the tone for other areas of concern all around the Great Lakes," Davis said.
Muskegon Lake is slated for clean up next.