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

Reports and Publications

Recent Scientific Articles

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

Search Reports and Publications


Publications 676 Results

Rainy-Lake of the Woods State of the Basin Report, Second Edition
Lake Woods Water Sustainability Foundation
2014/07/01
Meeting Record April 29-30, 2014
Burrows, Bejankiwar
2014/06/20

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
2014/06/17

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
2014/06/03

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
IJC
2014/05/05

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

STATUS REPORT ON THE ACTIVITIES OF THE INTERNATIONAL RED RIVER BOARD
IRRWB
2014/04/29

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
IRLWWB
2014/04/09

Submitted to
The International Joint Commission
April 9, 2014

ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY FIRST PROGRESS REPORT to the INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION by the INTERNATIONAL ST. LAWRENCE RIVER BOARD OF CONTROL
ISLRBC
2014/03/26

SEPTEMBER 19, 2013 THROUGH MARCH 26, 2014

International Lake Superior Board of Control Semi-Annual Progress Report to the International Joint Commission
ILSBC
2014/03/25

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
INBC
2014/03/25

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

INTERNATIONAL ST. CROIX RIVER WATERSHED BOARD ANNUAL REPORT 2013
ISCRWB
2014/03/03

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
2014/02/27

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
2014/02/27

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
2013/12/13

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
2013/11/01

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
2013/10/01

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
2013/09/19

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

One Hundred and Twentieth Progress Report to the International Joint Commission by the International St. Lawrence River Board of Control Covering the Period from March 22, 2013 through September 18, 2013
International St. Lawrence River Board of Control
2013/09/18

Summary of the regulatory strategy and results, board activities and communications activities of the International St Lawrence Board of Control from March 22, 2013 through to September 18, 2013

2011-12 Activities Report
IJC
2013/09/16

This report summarizes activities performed by the International Joint Commission (IJC) and associated boards and task forces during the calendar years 2011 and 2012.

Lake Erie Ecosystem Priority - Draft Summary Report
International Joint Commission
2013/08/29

In 2011, Lake Erie experienced its largest algal bloom in history. In 2012, the International Joint Commission (Commission) established the Lake Erie Ecosystem Priority (LEEP) in response to a growing challenge: lake-wide changes in Lake Erie related to problems of phosphorous 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 Summary Report presents the Commission’s key findings and recommendations from the LEEP study. The core objective of LEEP is to provide advice to federal, state, provincial and local governments to develop policy and implement management approaches to help restore the health of the lake’s ecosystem by reducing nutrient loads and resulting algal blooms.

Plan of Study for the Identification of Measures to Mitigate Flooding and the Impacts of Flooding of Lake Champlain and Richelieu River
International Joint Commission
2013/07/15

The Plan of Study establishes specifically what studies are necessary to allow an evaluation of the causes and impacts of the flooding of the Lake Champlain and Richelieu River and what studies are necessary to develop appropriate flood mitigation measures and recommendations. Three distinct evaluations are addressed in the Plan of Study: 1) Evaluation of the causes and impacts of the past floods on the system, with an emphasis on the events of 2011; 2) Evaluation of flood mitigation measures for Lake Champlain and its tributaries and the Richelieu River, considering non-structural and structural measures, and their combination, associated with benefits/costs analysis; and 3) Evaluation of the need for flood inundation mapping based on real-time forecasting to help predict and prepare local communities and emergency responders for future floods. In response to these evaluations, the International Joint Commission recommends: 1) that governments invest an estimated $14 million over five years in the necessary data gathering, model development and analysis to determine the causes and impacts of flooding and evaluate flood mitigation measures along the shores of Lake Champlain and the Richelieu River; 2) that governments establish a binational Study Board as soon as possible to coordinate this work and to implement a strong transboundary and public consultation mechanism to support the development of a shared integrated set of state-of-the-art physical, socio-economic, and ecological resource response models; 3) that local governments use their existing authorities to take immediate action to keep residences and new development away from flood areas through development and implementation of local flood plain land use regulation; and 4) that action be taken to strengthen comprehensive transboundary coordination mechanisms for flood preparedness, forecasting, and response that includes New York, Vermont, Quebec, and the federal governments as well as local municipalities.

Plan of Study: For the Review of the Operating Plan Contained in Annex A of the 1989 International Agreement Between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America
International Joint Commission
2013/06/07

Unprecedented flooding of the Souris River in 2011 has caused concerns for those living within the basin, which lies in the provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba as well as the state of North Dakota.  Due to these concerns, the IJC asked the International Souris River Board, which oversees flood operation and the apportionment of river flows, to establish the Souris River Basin Task Force in February 2012 to develop a Plan of Study on flooding of the Souris River.  The Plan of Study evaluates alternative regulation methods to those listed in Annex A to the 1989 Canada-United States Agreement for Water Supply and Flood Control in the Souris River Basin. The Task Force identified three funding options for the study, from just over $1M for the most basic assessment to $2.14M for the most comprehensive analysis.  After receiving input from the International Souris River Board, stakeholders, and the public, the IJC supports the Task Force’s recommendation that the governments approve implementing the $2.14M plan.  This particular plan would examine both the 1989 International Agreement and its operating rules to allow for the new flood control provisions.  Two years would be needed to complete the proposed plan and the cost would be shared equally between the U.S. and Canadian governments.

Building Collaboration Across the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River System: An Adaptive Management Plan
International Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Adaptive Management Task Team
2013/05/30

In March 2012, the International Upper Great Lakes Study (IUGLS) Board concluded a five year study reviewing the regulation of water levels on the upper Great Lakes. In follow-up to recommendations made, the International Joint Commission (IJC) issued a directive to the International Great Lakes-St.
Lawrence River Adaptive Management Task Team (Task Team) on May 29, 2012 to develop an Adaptive Management Plan for the Great-Lakes St. Lawrence River system. Furthermore, on April 15, 2013 the IJC provided their report to governments regarding the International Upper Great Lakes Study and
endorsed the implementation of a comprehensive Adaptive Management approach supported by science and monitoring. The IJC noted their intention to provide further recommendations based upon the final report of their Task Team. This Adaptive Management Plan (AM Plan) addresses the IJC Directive and provides the details necessary to further inform governments on a strategy forward for adaptive management.

Assessment of Progress Made Towards Restoring and Maintaining Great Lakes Water Quality Since 1987 - 16th Biennial Report on Great Lakes Water Quality
International Joint Commission
2013/05/14

The goal of this report is to present a scientifically sound yet broadly accessible picture of how the health of the Great Lakes has changed over the 25 years since the Agreement was last revised. The data presented show significant achievements; however, the evidence equally demands sustained investment and action to protect and restore the Great Lakes for today, tomorrow and for generations to come. The authors of this report selected 14 well-documented indicators of chemical, physical and biological integrity, and two indicators of performance. Only indicators with data that spanned all or most of the 25-year period were included in this report and most data were from the State of the Lakes Ecosystem Conference (SOLEC).

International Joint Commission's Advice to Governments on the Recommendations of the International Upper Great Lakes Study
International Joint Commission
2013/04/26

This report contains the International Joint Commission’s advice to the Governments of Canada and United States on the recommendations put forth by the International Upper Great Lakes Study Board. The binational Study Board issued its final report in March 2012. The Study Board benefitted from the input of more than 200 science and policy experts, an external Independent Peer Review process and a Public Interest Advisory Group. The Commission and the Study Board consulted extensively with stakeholders and the public during the course of the five-year Study. In July 2012, the Commission held 13 public hearings regarding the final Study Board report at locations on lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, St. Clair and Erie. Members of the public also were provided opportunities to comment on the report via a public hearing teleconference, regular mail, telephone, e-mail and a web-based comment form. In preparing its advice to the Governments, the Commission thoroughly considered all the input received from these sources.