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 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 »

New Vessel Joins the Great Lakes Science Fleet, More on the Way

IJC admin | 2015/02/24

Meet the Arcticus, a new 77.5-foot Great Lakes research vessel operated by the Great Lakes Science Center, an arm of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The Arcticus replaces the 75-foot Grayling at its homeport in Cheboygan, Michigan, and will be used to explore Great Lakes ecosystems. The Read More »

New Committee Will Use Adaptive Management to Monitor Water Levels

IJC admin | 2015/02/24

Can the IJC’s efforts to regulate water levels and flows be improved as new science and understanding is developed? A new Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Adaptive Management (GLAM) Committee will carry out the monitoring, modeling and assessment needed to answer this question, as conditions in the basin change over time. Read More »

Roaring Against Marine Debris in Vancouver

IJC admin | 2015/02/17

Marine debris is bad enough when it washes up on our shorelines. Imagine what it’s like for animals who call the water their home, like sea lions. Read More »

Answering Questions about Flame Retardants in the Great Lakes

IJC admin | 2015/01/28

To protect the health of the Great Lakes, governments ban the use of certain chemicals in products or come to agreements with manufacturers to phase out their use. The IJC’s Water Quality Board is exploring new problems that can arise when this happens. Read More »

Test Your Great Lakes Knowledge, and Win a ‘Valuable Prize’

IJC admin | 2015/01/13

To spread the word about the Great Lakes’ importance, we’re challenging all comers to an online Trivia Challenge. We’re planning more challenges for later this year about other basins we cover, from west to east. The first installment is below. And, yes, there is a valuable prize involved! Read More »

Trish Morris Merges Two Passions as New Director of Great Lakes Office

IJC admin | 2015/01/08

The Great Lakes, and longstanding peace between the nations that share them, are inextricably linked, says Patricia A. “Trish” Morris. And she is thrilled to be working at the center of that connection as new director of the IJC’s Great Lakes Regional Office (GLRO). Morris sees her new role as a perfect merger of two of her life’s ambitions: restoring badly damaged water resources, and securing peace in some of the most volatile regions of the world. Read More »

IJC’s Greatest Hits of 2014

IJC admin | 2014/12/31

We’re counting down our most-visited pages, news releases and newsletter posts as 2014 comes to an end --- and throwing in a few popular social media posts. Here’s the list, in reverse order of hits, based on Google Analytics and statistics from Facebook and Twitter. You can follow the links to read more. Have a Happy New Year. Read More »

Mark Your Calendar: Coming Up in 2015

IJC admin | 2014/12/24

The IJC, its boards and partner organizations are planning several meetings for 2015. See below for any that may be in your watershed or pique your interest. Read More »

New Blueprint for Great Lakes Observing System Focuses on Data, Climate and More

IJC admin | 2014/12/16

A new Blueprint for the Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS) will guide its activities for the next five years. The Blueprint, for 2016-2020, outlines function areas including data management, outreach, observations, modeling and tools, and focus areas including public health and safety, ecosystem health, maritime operations and climate adaptation. Read More »

Algae Removal System Helps Clean Up Ontario Beach

IJC admin | 2014/12/16

The shoreline of Ontario Beach in Rochester, N.Y., has an ongoing problem with algae accumulations of cladophora, a type of light-dependent, green nuisance algae which grows on the hard bottom surface of the lake and is carried to the shoreline by currents. Read More »

Several Long-Time Board Members Bid Farewell

IJC admin | 2014/12/04

The numerous boards that report to the IJC are our feet on the ground in watersheds along the Canadian-U.S. boundary. The IJC would like to recognize several board members who passing on their duties and retiring this year, leaving a legacy of volunteer service and expertise. Read More »

Reminder: Comment on the Lake of the Woods Water Quality Plan of Study

IJC admin | 2014/12/02

The International Lake of the Woods Water Quality Plan of Study aims to improve conditions in the basin. But first, it needs one last look from the public. The Plan of Study was released recently for a 30-day comment period, and the IJC is asking people to review it and submit any input by Dec. 11. Read More »

New Videos on Lake Erie, Algae, and IJC Recommendations

IJC admin | 2014/11/25

Thanks to those who were able to attend and participate in our Harmful Algal Blooms Public Forums on Nov. 12 in Leamington, Ontario, and Nov. 13 in Oregon, Ohio. Two videos below were compiled after the meetings, and offer a look at what was discussed by panelists and participants. Read More »

Find a Solution to Algal Blooms, Win $10 Million

IJC admin | 2014/11/21

Because harmful algal blooms can be so damaging economically, the Everglades Foundation in Florida has issued a Grand Challenge: “a $10 million prize … to anyone who can successfully develop and execute a process to remove excessive phosphorus from our waterways, and develop a method to recycle that phosphorus into much needed phosphate for use in growing the world’s food supply.” Read More »

Braddock Bay: A Focus for Great Lakes Restoration

IJC admin | 2014/11/20

Braddock Bay, located along the shores of Lake Ontario in the town of Greece, N.Y., has gradually lost its protective barrier beach and about 106 acres of wetlands over the last 100 years due to wave-driven erosion. Further, Lake Ontario water level regulations enacted in 1954 have decreased fluctuations in the water level, resulting in the predominance of cattail in an area that was once a diverse habitat at the site. With the goal of restoring and improving habitat diversity of the existing emergent marsh and reducing erosion, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Buffalo District, in coordination with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC), and the town of Greece have completed a feasibility study identifying a plan for ecosystem restoration at Braddock Bay. Read More »

LEEP Forums a Chance to Hear from Experts, Tell Your Story on Lake Erie Algae

IJC admin | 2014/11/07

To continue to focus attention on the issue, we’re holding two Harmful Algal Blooms Public Forums to provide an update on the latest science, and another opportunity for people to offer their views on the effects of declining water quality in the lake. The forums are Nov. 12 at the Leamington Municipal Complex in Leamington, Ontario, and Nov. 13 at the Maumee Bay Lodge and Conference Center in Oregon, Ohio, near Toledo. Read More »

The Coastal Wetlands of Western Lake Erie: Have We Lost our Swiss Army Knife?

IJC admin | 2014/10/28

What does a 95 percent loss look like? Imagine losing 95 percent of your retirement portfolio. That would take another career to rebuild. What if we lost 95 percent of the water in the Great Lakes? Every lake except Ontario would be bone dry. The scenario seems pretty drastic, but it’s exactly where we are with the status of our wetlands in western Lake Erie --- from Point Pelee, Ontario, through Michigan and around to Sandusky, Ohio. Read More »