International Joint Commission (IJC)
More than a century of cooperation protecting shared waters

Reports and Publications

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Protecting our Great Lakes: assessing the effectiveness of wastewater treatments for the removal of chemicals of emerging concern
Antonette Arvai, Gary Klecka, Saad Jasim, Henryk Melcer and Michael T. Laitta
Water Quality Research Journal of Canada, Volume 48, Number 4

Most Viewed Reports and Publications

Protecting the Waters of the Great Lakes
International Joint Commission
February 2000

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International Lake of the Woods Basin Water Quality Plan of Study
International Lake of the Woods Basin Water Quality Plan of Study Team

The International Lake of the Woods Basin Water Quality Plan of Study has been prepared to guide the International Joint Commission (IJC) in making recommendations to the Governments of Canada and the United States regarding a water quality study for the Basin. The Plan has been prepared by a binational Study Team, and builds upon considerable cooperative work and planning that has been undertaken in the Basin in recent years.  The Plan of Study identifies 32 projects and activities under five major challenge areas needed to improve understanding of the ecosystem health of the Basin and support a balanced, international approach to water quality management (see summary table).  For each recommended project, the Plan of Study outlines the objectives, description of work, possible lead and participating organizations, and timing and cost considerations.

Letter to Governments on Great Lakes Adaptive Management

In the Commission’s April 2013 “Advice to Governments on the Recommendations of the International Upper Great Lakes Study”, we stated that the Commission would follow up with governments on the topic of Adaptive Management for Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Water Levels. The purpose of this letter is to transmit the Task Team’s final report for the Government’s review and comment and to provide an update on how the Commission is moving forward with adaptive management in the Great Lakes-St Lawrence River basin.

International Red River Board, 15th Annual Progress Report

Activities during the reporting period October 01, 2013 to September 30, 2014

International St. Lawrence River Board of Control, 122nd Progress Report

Covering the Period MARCH 27, 2014 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 23, 2014

International Lake Superior Board of Control, Semi-Annual Progress Report

Covering the Period March 26, 2014 to September 24, 2014

International Souris River Board, 55th Annual Report

Covering calendar year 2013

International Niagara Board of Control - 123rd Semi-Annual Progress Report

Covering the Period March 26 through September 24, 2014

2013−14 Operation of the Lake Erie − Niagara River Ice Boom
International Niagara Working Committee

A report to the International Niagara Board of Control by the International Niagara Working Committee

Rainy-Lake of the Woods State of the Basin Report, Second Edition
Lake Woods Water Sustainability Foundation
Meeting Record April 29-30, 2014
Burrows, Bejankiwar

Meeting record from the IJC's Great Lakes Science Advisory Board Meeting, held April 29-30, 2014 in Washington, D.C. including record of the Science Priority Committee and Research Coordination Committee meetings held April 30, 2014

Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River Plan 2014
International Joint Commission

This report to the Governments of Canada and the United States presents the conclusions of the International Joint Commission (IJC) investigation regarding needed changes to the 1952 and 1956 Orders of Approval for the St. Lawrence River Power Project. After years of intensive analysis and extensive consultation with governments, experts, Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River interests, and the public, the IJC concludes that a new approach to regulating the flows and levels of the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario, Plan 2014, should be implemented as soon as possible. A summary description of Plan 2014 is included in the mainbody of this report, with further technical details provided in the annexes.

Great Lakes Ecosystem Indicator Project Report
International Joint Commission

The Commission recommends 16 indicators composed of 41 measures to be the best indicators for assessing progress for the ecosystem under the new Agreement. The suite of 16 ecosystem indicators are the “few that tell us the most” and this report defines and discusses their relevance to Agreement objectives and ecosystem health conditions, their constituent measures and how the indicators should be interpreted. The ecosystem indicators provide good coverage of the Agreement Objectives and Annexes with the smallest number of indicators possible. Key gaps in the coverage, including indicators for human health and program effectiveness, will be addressed through separate projects also being conducted under the Commission’s Assessment of Progress Priority.

The Commission recommends that the governments of Canada and the United States consider using the Commission’s recommended ecosystem indicators in State of the Lakes Ecosystem Conference (SOLEC) reporting. As part of this process, the Commission also recommends that the governments review the indicators with respect to how easily they can be fully implemented and provide feedback to the Commission regarding their potential for operationalization.

A comparison of the Commission’s ecosystem indicators and ecosystem indicators in the recent SOLEC report by the governments is also included in this report as an initial step in that assessment process. While the Commission did find some overlap; 23 out of the 41 measures of IJC ecosystem indicators are defined differently from SOLEC indicators.

Great Lakes Ecosystem Indicator Project Report

2013 Activities Report

This report summarizes activities performed by the International Joint Commission (IJC) and associated boards and task forces during the 2013 calendar year.


Prepared for the International Joint Commission Spring Semi-Annual Meeting, April 29, 2014 Washington, D.C.

International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board - First Annual Report

Submitted to
The International Joint Commission
April 9, 2014



International Lake Superior Board of Control Semi-Annual Progress Report to the International Joint Commission

Covering the period September 20, 2013 to March 25, 2014

International Niagara Board of Control - One Hundred Twenty Second Semi-Annual Progress Report to the International Joint Commission

Covering the Period September 20, 2013 through March 25, 2014


Covering the Orders of Approval with respect to the control of the discharge of the St. Croix River at Forest City, Vanceboro, and the water levels of East Grand Lake, Spednic Lake, Grand Falls Flowage and Milltown Dam Forebay & The Water Quality and Aquatic Ecosystem Health of the St. Croix River Boundary Waters.

A Balanced Diet for Lake Erie: Reducing Phosphorus Loadings and Harmful Algal Blooms
International Joint Commission

In 2011, Lake Erie experienced its largest algal bloom in history. In 2012, the International Joint Commission (IJC) established the Lake Erie Ecosystem Priority (LEEP) in response to a growing challenge: lake-wide changes in Lake Erie related to problems of phosphorus enrichment from both rural and urban sources, compounded by the influence of climate change and aquatic invasive species. These changes have resulted in impaired water quality, with impacts on ecosystem health, drinking water supplies, fisheries, recreation and tourism, and property values. This report presents the IJC’s key findings and recommendations from the LEEP study.

LEEP Report

Human Health Effects from Harmful Algal Blooms: a Synthesis
Health Professionals Advisory Board

This report addresses the objective to assess the human health impacts associated with harmful algal blooms (HABs) especially those associated with blue-green algae or cyanobacteria blooms (cyanoHABs).  This report was prepared by the International Joint Commission’s Health Professionals Advisory Board. The objective of the report is to summarize the state of science on this topic to help other environmental health scientists or subsequent work by HPAB to further the understanding of this human health concern, raise awareness, and protect public health.  The report was completed as part of an effort to Integrate Ecosystem & Human Health Surveillance Data and that work is part of a Commission project to Improve the Delivery of Great Lakes Scientific Information to managers and the public.

Human Health Effects from Harmful Algal Blooms

International Souris River Board Fifty-Fourth Annual Report to the International Joint Commission Covering Calendar Year 2012
International Souris River Board

Summary of activites of the International Souris River Board for the year 2012.

Synthesis of Public Comment on the 2012 Progress Report under the Canada-United States Air Quality Agreement
International Joint Commission

Under Article VIII of the 1991 Canada-United States Air Quality Agreement, the Governments of Canada and the United States established a bilateral Air Quality Committee to assist with implementation of the Agreement, to review progress made, and to prepare Progress Reports at least every two years. Environment Canada and the United States Environmental Protection Agency are the lead agencies on the Committee. Under Article IX of the Agreement, the International Joint Commission (IJC) is assigned responsibility to invite comments on each Progress Report prepared by the Air Quality Committee, to submit a synthesis of the comments received to the Governments, and to release the synthesis of comments to the public.

This report provides a synthesis of the comments received on the 2012 Progress Report for the years 2010-2012. The 2012 Progress Report, prepared by the bilateral Air Quality Committee, is the eleventh biennial report completed under the 1991 Canada-United States Air Quality Agreement. The report discusses key actions undertaken by Canada and the United States in the last two years to address transboundary air pollution within the context of the Agreement. Specifically, the report presents progress made toward meeting the commitments established in the Acid Rain and Ozone Annexes of the Agreement, and in implementing the underlying Agreement.

Fourteenth Annual Progress Report to the International Joint Commission by the International Red River Board Covering the Period from October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013
International Red River Board

This report documents water quality trends and exceedances of objectives, effluent releases, and control measures for the Red River basin for the 2011 Water Year (October 01, 2011 through September 30, 2012). In addition, this report describes the activities of the International Red River Board during the reporting period October 01, 2012 to September 30, 2013 and identifies several current and future water quality and water quantity issues in the basin. 112p.

International Lake Superior Board of Control Semi-Annual Progress Report to the International Joint Commission Covering the Period March 22, 2031 to September 19, 2013.
International Lake Superior Board of Control

Summary of activites of the Itnernational Lake Superior Board fo Control from March 21, 2013 to September 19, 2013.