International Joint Commission (IJC)
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IJC admin | 2016/05/16

Read IJC’s newsletters to stay current on how Canada and the United States are working together to manage the health and flow of the waters shared by our two countries. Read More »

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Tiny Plastics Inflict Huge Environmental and Human Health Impact

IJC admin | 2016/02/16

Microbeads are one way to clean your face, body and teeth and pollute the Great Lakes at the same time. Thankfully, there are alternatives. Read More »

Looking ahead at 2016

IJC admin | 2016/02/04

Much activity is on the horizon for 2016 along U.S.-Canadian shared waters. Here are highlights of what’s in store. Read More »

Can Expert Surveys Help Assess Great Lakes Water Quality? Comments Requested

IJC admin | 2016/02/03

Under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, the Commission is charged with reporting on the extent to which government programs are improving Great Lakes water quality. A Commission consultant recently tested one potential tool for assessing the impact of government programs on Great Lakes water quality. In 2015, a team of researchers from the Great Lakes Policy Research Network, in partnership with the IJC, surveyed experts to solicit their views. One purpose was to discern whether such a survey could contribute to the Commission’s upcoming Assessment of Progress Report. Until March 4, the IJC is seeking comments on the report and the potential application of its findings. Read More »

Minnesota, North Dakota, Manitoba Coordinating Red River Nutrient Management Strategies

IJC admin | 2016/01/29

Excessive nutrients flow to the Red River from tributaries in North Dakota, Minnesota and Manitoba. So it seems reasonable that reductions should come from all three jurisdictions. In the spirit of cooperation, Minnesota has developed a nutrient reduction strategy, and North Dakota and Manitoba are developing their own plans. Read More »

Keeping the Plug in the Great Lakes Tub

IJC admin | 2016/01/19

The IJC has just completed its second review of progress. Formally submitted to governments in January 2016, the report describes efforts to protect the Great Lakes from consumptive uses, diversions and exports and calls the findings “for the most part a good news story.” Read More »

IJC’s Greatest Hits of 2015

IJC admin | 2016/01/08 received more than a quarter million hits last year. Some pages that were visited the most are highlighted here, along with a few notable shares from our social media channels. Which ones did you read? Which ones did you miss? Let’s drop the ball … Read More »

Plan of Study Yields Innovative Forecasting Products for Lake Champlain-Richelieu River Basin

IJC admin | 2015/12/22

The Lake Champlain-Richelieu River basin straddles the United States and Canada between Vermont, New York and Quebec. There have been numerous floods in the basin, but work is ongoing to develop an operational real-time flood forecasting and flood inundation mapping system. Read More »

Like a Shark: Algae Eats Money in Lake Erie


What’s the economic cost of Lake Erie Harmful Algal Blooms, also called HABs? That’s one question the IJC sought to answer in its latest report on the Lake Erie Ecosystem Priority (LEEP). In other words, what’s the value of avoiding the harm of future Harmful Algal Blooms, from ecosystem health to human activities like recreation and commercial fishing? Read More »

Reducing Great Lakes Mercury Contamination: Regional Efforts May Not Be Enough

IJC admin | 2015/12/08

The term “toxic pollution” may bring to mind images of a local drainage pipe dumping discolored wastewater and chemicals into an otherwise picturesque river or stream. However, scientists for some time have understood that toxic pollution also can be airborne, and released on distant continents before traveling thousands of miles and kilometers through the atmosphere and landing in the Great Lakes basin. Read More »

Dramatic Algal Blooms in Lake of the Woods Call for Dramatic Action

IJC admin | 2015/12/01

The view from space tells a dramatic story – Lake of the Woods was plagued with exceptionally bad outbreaks of blue-green algae again this summer and fall, underlining the need for governments to fund and move forward with the Lake of the Woods Basin Water Quality Plan of Study through the International Joint Commission. Read More »

Drought of 2015 Provides Lessons for Future Water Management - Part 1 of 2

IJC admin | 2015/11/30

Sue McKortoff is upfront about how she’s conserving water. The mayor of Osoyoos has embarrassed her kids by declaring publicly she doesn’t take showers every day. And when she does, she bathes for only three minutes. Read More »

Drought of 2015 Provides Lessons for Future Water Management - Part 2 of 2

IJC admin | 2015/11/30

The year 2015 created some unusual water management challenges for the International Osoyoos Lake Board of Control, which sets maximum and minimum water level limits in the transboundary lake in accordance with the IJC’s Order of Approval for Zosel Dam. Read More »

Lessons Learned in the Credit River: Reconnecting the Water Cycle for our Greater Lakes

IJC admin | 2015/11/10

Real-time monitoring of the Credit River has found that urban stormwater is contributing two times more phosphorus to the nearshore than the two wastewater treatment plants within Credit Valley Conservation’s jurisdiction. This highlights the need to integrate water, wastewater and stormwater management decisions to optimize infrastructure investment. Read More »

Great Lakes Stories: New Bureau of Detroit Public TV Expands Coverage

IJC admin | 2015/11/02

The Great Lakes are filled with great stories, and Detroit Public Television – through its new Great Lakes Bureau – is anxious to begin telling them. Read More »

People Love the Great Lakes Because …

IJC admin | 2015/10/23

The results are still coming in, but Jamie Cross, Adopt-a-Beach Program manager for the Alliance for the Great Lakes, says the cleanup is on track to be as successful as last year’s. That event saw some 7,343 volunteers pick up 25,251 pounds of trash from 277 shoreline locations in five Great Lakes states. Read More »

Reflections on Renewing Greatness for Great Lakes Restoration and Protection

IJC admin | 2015/10/16

The work of Great Lakes protection and restoration is influenced by the confluence of people and businesses that call this region home and recognize the unparalleled gift of the glaciers to our pursuit of happiness. Collectively we agree on the importance of protecting the Lakes. Important progress has been achieved. And much is left to do to deliver the promise of sustaining the integrity of the waters of the Great Lakes. Read More »

Great Lakes Needs Guardians (Funding Available)

IJC admin | 2015/10/07

For the fourth year, the Ontario government is offering $1.5 million in grants to community groups through the Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund. The program aims to create guardians of the Great Lakes --- people who will be engaged throughout their lifetime and in generations to come. Read More »

Using Social Media to Monitor Water Quality and Public Health

IJC admin | 2015/10/02

In most cases, people are smart enough to stay away from polluted water. They may be itching, however, to tell other people about it. Dr. Matthew Keifer, a member of the IJC’s Health Professionals Advisory Board (HPAB), says social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are some of the first places people turn when they want to share and find information on public health topics. “The best way to take the temperature of society in those areas is to look at what people are talking about,” Keifer said. Read More »

Board, Associations Focus on Rainy-Lake of the Woods

IJC admin | 2015/09/24

The International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board (IRLWWB) had a productive summer, holding three public meetings in the watershed and participating in a new Binational Lake Association Network Event. The results will help guide environmental efforts in the basin for years to come. Read More »

Western Drought and Salmon Top Agenda for 2015 Osoyoos Lake Water Science Forum

IJC admin | 2015/09/16

Water can be a great glue – joining people together to help keep it clean and plentiful. The matter comes down to building relationships and understanding, so that when the going gets tough – as with this year’s western drought – we can pull together. Read More »

IJC Canoe Commute: Challenge Completed

IJC admin | 2015/09/01

An IJC canoe commute team paddled, portaged and prevailed. In early August, the team of four staffers successfully completed a challenge of canoeing on the water and carrying their canoes over land to work at the IJC’s Canadian Section Office in Ottawa, Ontario. They did it for a week, clad in office attire, to help promote water education in Canada and sustainable commuting. Read More »

Alewives Swimming, Restoration Winning on St. Croix River

IJC admin | 2015/08/27

One fish told another fish, and now alewives are returning to the St. Croix River. This year, more than 93,000 of the fish were counted entering the river at Milltown Dam in New Brunswick. That’s the most since 1998, when about 177,000 were counted. But populations of alewives still have a long way to go on the river. And this year’s high numbers aren’t a simple result of the river being reopened. Read More »

Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area Protects World’s Largest Freshwater Lake

IJC admin | 2015/08/19

Once formally established, the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area will be one of the world’s largest freshwater marine protected areas. Read More »

AOC Stands for Areas of Concern, and Great Lakes Progress

IJC admin | 2015/08/13

You can learn more about AOCs and their environmental impairments, the clean-up process, the status of cleanup progress, and other AOC-related resources on a new IJC page on Great Lakes Areas of Concern. Read More »

Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed – A Busy Place in August

IJC admin | 2015/07/31

The Rainy-Lake of the Woods watershed will be a busy place this August as the International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board hosts its annual public meetings and takes part in the first binational lake association network event for the shared watershed. Read More »