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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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 »

How Zebra Mussels Were Removed from Lake Winnipeg - Almost

IJC admin | 2014/10/28

This story starts with a single zebra mussel found on a boat moored at a Lake Winnipeg harbor in Manitoba. It ends with boat washing stations, billboards and lessons for other watersheds on dealing with the threat of invasive species. Read More »

They Come in Waves: Seiches and a Type of Tsunami Affect the Great Lakes

IJC admin | 2014/10/23

Great Lakes water levels usually fluctuate over time, as in months and years. But a couple of communities along Lake Superior and Michigan recently saw drastic changes in a matter of hours. Read More »

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup Takes Trash, Leaves Footprints

IJC admin | 2014/10/16

You’ve seen the signs: Put litter in its place. That means a trash can or recycle bin, not the water. But beaches in Canada, like those in the U.S., still suffer from unwanted debris that washes up on the shores of our Great Lakes and its connecting waters. Read More »

Fall Semi-Annual Planned for Ottawa

IJC admin | 2014/10/08

The IJC’s Canadian Section headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario, is the site for our upcoming Fall Semi-Annual Meeting. It’s a special opportunity for commissioners to meet face-to-face with various boards and hear progress reports. Read More »

Great Lakes Boards Hear from Experts, Songwriter Sarah Harmer

IJC admin | 2014/10/08

A poetic ode to the freshwater seas from singer-songwriter Sarah Harmer was followed by a lively panel discussion on Great Lakes protection during a public forum on Sept. 24 in Windsor, Ontario, sponsored by the IJC’s Great Lakes Water Quality Board. Read More »

Adopt-a-Beach Volunteers: Passionate Agents of Change

IJC admin | 2014/10/06

Firefighters. Nuns. Seniors. Businesses. Moms. Dads. School kids. They hit local beaches and shorelines by the thousands each year for the September Adopt-a-Beach cleanup held around in the U.S. Great Lakes states. Read More »

Restoring Quality Habitat and Combating Invasive Plants at Times Beach

IJC admin | 2014/09/30

A unique project to fight invasive plants and restore native species at a popular birding destination in Buffalo, N.Y., will help inform similar projects at sites across the Great Lakes and the nation. The Buffalo District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center are collaborating on a demonstration project to control the growth of four invasive plants at Times Beach Nature Preserve in Buffalo. Read More »

Sand Castles, Boat Rides and Asian Carp? Smart Planning and Rapid Response Take Aim at Aquatic Invaders

IJC admin | 2014/09/17

Sand castles, boat rides and beachcombing are part of the Great Lakes experience. Devastation of the aquatic food web by strange organisms, or getting smacked in the head by a leaping Asian carp, is not. Those threats are among the reasons a biological SWAT team of Great Lakes experts is preparing a quick-strike response to launch should the invaders ever reach the lakes and connecting waters like the Detroit River. Read More »