Each AOC has to ultimately under go three stages of restoration and protection before it is no longer considered as an Area of Concern.
Identifies an area as a concern and investigates the severity and underlying causes of environmental degradation. Within each AOC, studies are completed to identify cause for the environmental degradation; investigating water and sediment quality, fish and animal habitat and growth, plant quality, and other ecosystem components.
Identifies the goals for the AOC and recommends actions to be taken to remediate the site. The ultimate goal of the RAP is restoration and protection of the ecosystem's health.
Is the implementation of the recommended actions supplied by stage 2; followed by measuring the progress of restoration and protection efforts in the AOC to ensure that the goals have been met.
After the successful completion of stages 1, 2 and 3, the area is then delisted; identifying that the goals set out by the RAP have been achieved and the area is no longer a concern. The decision to delist an AOC is made by all the contributing parties, including the federal, provincial and local RAP participants, with additional advice from the International Joint Commission.