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


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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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Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Water Levels: Wetter Conditions Return, Winter’s Impact Persists

IJC admin | 2015/06/18

Despite a return to more seasonable conditions in April and May, water levels throughout much of the Lake Ontario- St. Lawrence River system remained well below average through most of the spring following an exceptionally cold and dry winter. While water levels have more recently recovered following wet weather at the start of June, the lower than average levels, though not particularly unusual, have been cause for concern among many basin residents, particularly recreational boaters. Here, we provide background on circumstances leading to recent water level conditions, and information on what we might expect in coming months. Read More »

For Water’s Sake: Harmonizing Alaska and the Yukon Territory

IJC admin | 2015/06/11

An IJC hydrographic data harmonization team has been working to integrate and improve hydrographic data in the U.S.-Canada international basins. For too long, both countries have been unable to easily use each other’s hydro data geospatially. In simple terms, “geospatially” means putting all the hydrologic information together on the same map from both sides of the border. Read More »

Bringing Conservation to Cities

IJC admin | 2015/06/08

Putting Detroit and Windsor --- the automobile capitals of the United States and Canada --- in the same sentence as conservation may seem a paradox, but it really isn’t. Read More »

‘Protection of the Waters’ Needs Your Voice

IJC admin | 2015/06/02

For years, a report on “Protection of the Waters of the Great Lakes” issued by IJC in 2000 has been one of the most popular items at Until June 30, we’re asking people to revisit that topic, as part of a consultants’ 10-year review of progress that Great Lakes states and provinces have made in defending the lakes from diversions, bulk exports and large-scale withdrawals within the basin. Read More »

Celebrating 60 Years of Successful Sea Lamprey Control, Science, and Cross-Border Collaboration

IJC admin | 2015/05/29

In 2015, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC) is excited to celebrate two momentous occasions in Great Lakes fishery management and restoration: the 60th anniversary of the Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries between Canada and the U.S., which finally ended parochialism in fisheries; and the 50th anniversary of the GLFC's lake committees, which ensure collaboration across borders. Read More »

Canadian Commissioners meet with new Minister of Foreign Affairs

IJC admin | 2015/05/20

The Hon. Rob Nicholson may be relatively new to the role of Minister of Foreign Affairs, but hailing from Niagara Falls, as a six-term Member of Parliament he certainly is familiar with the IJC’s role under the Boundary Waters Treaty managing water levels on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, as well in water quality under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Read More »

Updates on Progress from Coast-to-Coast Highlight IJC Spring 2015 Semi-Annual Meeting

IJC admin | 2015/05/12

Our boards and task forces are busy, and our annual Activities Report has hit the streets. Read More »

Signs of Spring Pour in from Canada and the U.S.

IJC admin | 2015/05/12

When spring officially began in March, we asked for photos from the transboundary region, to help illustrate the end of a long and icy winter. Well, Old Man Winter stuck around for a bit longer than expected, but Mother Nature eventually cooperated. So did numerous folks who read our blog and newsletter to follow IJC activities. Read More »

Hear from ‘Unexpected Voices of the Great Lakes’ at Water Quality Board Event

IJC admin | 2015/05/07

Unique viewpoints and more will take the stage Wednesday evening, May 13, at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, N.Y., during “Unexpected Voices of the Great Lakes,” a presentation and panel discussion cosponsored by the IJC’s Great Lakes Water Quality Board and Buffalo-Niagara Riverkeeper. Read More »

Canadian Ship Operator Leads on Ballast Water Treatment

IJC admin | 2015/05/07

Fednav, the largest Canadian operator of international ships in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System, is the first shipping company in Canada and the Great Lakes to announce the installation of ballast water treatment systems. Read More »

River Watch: 20 Years of Citizen Science

IJC admin | 2015/05/04

What’s your river or watershed story? That was the task for teams of high school students to portray and share via poster presentations at the International Water Institute’s (IWI) River Watch Forum held at the University of Minnesota-Crookston campus. Read More »

Test Your Memory with the 2014 IJC Activities Report Quiz

IJC admin | 2015/04/23

What do you remember about initiatives, programs and progress made during the last calendar year? We’ve chosen 10 questions to test your knowledge, and memory. Read More »

IJC to Attend One of World’s Biggest Earth Day Events

IJC admin | 2015/04/22

The International Joint Commission will help mark the 45th anniversary of Earth Day by taking part in festivities at the MI Earth Day Fest in Rochester, Michigan. Read More »

Remembering Claude Lanthier

IJC admin | 2015/04/21

Claude Lanthier served as the Canadian Section chair of the Commission from 1992-1995. He’s being remembered as a tireless advocate for the St. Lawrence River. Read More »

Why Social Science Research is Critical to the Great Lakes Region

IJC admin | 2015/04/14

For the past two years, researchers and graduate students from the Great Lakes Policy Research Network, established under a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Partnership Development Grant, have been conducting collaborative research. Read More »

Waste-to-Energy Project Nets Award for IJC Intern’s Research Team

IJC admin | 2015/04/13

IJC Intern Jessica MacKinnon was among a group of environmental engineering undergraduates who scored an improbable victory over graduate students and Ph.D. candidates in a prestigious water quality research contest in Burlington, Ontario. Read More »

Spring Break on the Great Lakes is No Vacation for Canadian, US Coast Guards

IJC admin | 2015/04/01

The Great Lakes have seen historic winters during the last two years, with prolonged arctic-like weather. While above-average snowfall and ice-coverage amounts are generally good for lake levels, unremitting cold and winds have produced ice conditions not present on the Lakes since the mid-1990s. Read More »

Lake of the Woods Forum Focuses on Water Quality Research, Lake Level Management

IJC admin | 2015/03/31

It’s been a dozen years since the first International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Forum, and the event shows no signs of slowing down. This year’s 12th annual Forum in International Falls, Minnesota, brought together a record number of attendees. Read More »

Lake Erie Working Group Prepares Algae Action Plan for States, Province

IJC admin | 2015/03/26

A new international committee of the Great Lakes Commission is digging for solutions to the problem of harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie. Read More »

New Canadian-Ontario Agreement Addresses Five Great Lakes Priorities

IJC admin | 2015/03/24

The Canada-Ontario Agreement on Great Lakes Water Quality and Ecosystem Health is the means by which Canada and Ontario interact to help meet federal obligations under the Canada-U.S. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. An eighth Canada-Ontario Agreement (COA), signed in December, sets the agenda for restoration, protection and conservation of the Canadian portion of the Great Lakes basin for the next five years. Read More »

On Wasted Water in Canada and the U.S.

IJC admin | 2015/03/18

The Fix a Leak campaign, led by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is meant to encourage folks to find and fix dripping faucets and valves that are wasting water (and money) in their homes. Canada Water Week - organized by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and others – is meant to raise the profile of water and its importance to Canada’s future. Wasted water is an ongoing, year-round issue. Read More »

World Water Day 2015 Focuses on Sustainable Development

IJC admin | 2015/03/17

The IJC will observe World Water Day with an informational display at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. This full-day event is expected to bring together researchers, educators, students and stakeholders involved in water issues in and around Ontario, and also celebrate our freshwater resources. Read More »

Lake Erie, Saginaw Bay to See Significant Conservation Projects

IJC admin | 2015/03/10

A new Regional Conservation Partnership Program authorized in the 2014 U.S. Farm Bill directs $370 million to states and critical conservation areas, including the Great Lakes region. Critical conservation areas are designated by the Secretary of Agriculture and represent an opportunity for many stakeholders to come together at a regional level to address common natural resource goals while maintaining or improving agricultural productivity. Read More »

Test Your Knowledge: A Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Quiz

IJC admin | 2015/03/03

The Rainy-Lake of the Woods watershed occupies portions of the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba and the U.S. state of Minnesota. Take the quiz, and see how much you know. Read More »

Should We Celebrate U.S. Invasive Species Week?

IJC admin | 2015/02/26

Invasive species can out-compete native species and turn ecosystems upside down. Remember the zebra mussel, and its cousin, the quagga mussel? But it’s been a long time since a new invader was discovered in the Great Lakes. Read More »