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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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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 »

Pair of Great Lakes sites to come off ‘The List’

IJC admin | 2014/09/05

When someone says “You’re on my list!” it’s usually not good. And so it is – in some ways - with the Areas of Concern (AOC) list – an inventory of the Great Lakes’ most toxic sites, many of them chock full of legacy industrial pollutants like PCBs and mercury, or suffering from a loss of fish and wildlife habitat. Read More »

The 4R Approach: One Tool to Control Harmful Fertilizer Runoff to Algae-Choked Lake Erie

IJC admin | 2014/09/04

“4 R” programs in Canada and the United States are aimed at using agricultural fertilizers efficiently, based on best management practices. In other words, with the Right source, and at the Right rate, Right time, and Right place. The 4Rs encourage farmers to better manage their use of phosphorus, and following these practices may make a notable difference in curbing runoff that feeds Lake Erie algae problems. Read More »

Fins Up: Detroit River Reef Project to Benefit Endangered Lake Sturgeon

IJC admin | 2014/09/02

This year, Sea Grant and its partners plan to build three optimized spawning reefs in Michigan near Algonac, East China and Detroit. They’ll use various techniques to see if sturgeon are depositing eggs on the reef, and if the eggs produce healthy young. They’ll also monitor populations of adult and juvenile fish on and near the reefs. The reefs also can support walleye, lake whitefish and other native species. Read More »

Basin Residents Comment on Lake of the Woods Water Quality Plan

IJC admin | 2014/08/21

The Water Quality Plan of Study Team for the Lake of the Woods Basin held eight public meetings from Aug. 11-15, racking up close to 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles) of travel to hear the views of the people in the basin about its draft report. A 30-day public comment period on the draft Plan of Study ends Friday, Aug. 22. Read More »

A Second Century of International Stewardship of the St. Mary and Milk Rivers

IJC admin | 2014/08/19

On the prairies, water is scarce and valuable. The Milk and the St. Mary are two separate rivers that both flow across the international boundary. The St. Mary River is shorter and begins in Glacier National Park in Montana, flowing through Alberta. The Milk River is much longer and more typical of a flashy prairie river system that torrents in the spring, then trickles, and even dries up, in the summer. Read More »

Philanthropist Peter Wege Fostered Great Lakes Protection

IJC admin | 2014/08/14

The International Joint Commission notes with regret the passing of Peter M. Wege of East Grand Rapids, Michigan, a philanthropist whose support for Great Lakes protection made a lasting impact. Read More »

Mending the Meander with the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

IJC admin | 2014/08/13

A six-year effort has been completed—using funds from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and other sources—to re-connect 35 miles of the Two Hearted River. As a result, this waterway is now one of the longest free-flowing rivers in the Great Lakes. Read More »

St. Croix Board to Host Fall Science Meeting

IJC admin | 2014/08/05

The State of the St. Croix will be explored at a science meeting planned for the fall of 2014. The event will bring together researchers, agency representatives, and members of the public who live, work and play within the St. Croix watershed. The aim is to discuss current research efforts, future research priorities, and create opportunities for future collaboration. Read More »

Reaching Out in Rainy-Lake of the Woods Basin

IJC admin | 2014/07/31

The IJC’s Rainy-Lake of the Woods board has new members, new advisory groups, and more frequent meetings with the public. We’re even on the radio. We’ve come long way since the days of once-a-year outreach. Read More »

Burrows Brings Knowledge, Skill and Eclectic Office Decor to Acting Director Position

IJC admin | 2014/07/28

The IJC’s Great Lakes Regional Office (GLRO) didn’t miss a beat when Mark Burrows took the helm as acting director in June. A 14-year IJC veteran with a wealth of maritime and water policy expertise, Burrows has slipped comfortably into his new role while we search for a director to fill a four-year term. Read More »

On a Plan of Study to Improve Rainy-Lake of the Woods Water Quality

IJC admin | 2014/07/22

The second edition of the State of the Basin Report was recently published, with new science on research and monitoring done since the first edition in 2009. This report provides the necessary background to the just-released draft Plan of Study for the watershed --- to determine what additional studies are needed to improve water quality and the long-term ecosystem health of the area. Read More »

Have You Seen an American Eel? Their Numbers are Dwindling

IJC admin | 2014/07/15

Slimy, snake-like and worth protecting. That’s the American eel. This fish, once abundant in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, is fighting the odds to survive. The St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences is working with partners to help the eels endure. Read More »

Taking on ‘The Nine’ --- How Toxic Discharges to Lake Superior were Slashed and What it Might Mean for the Other Great Lakes

IJC admin | 2014/07/09

A novel pilot program has documented successful reductions to toxic chemical discharges and emissions– including huge cuts in mercury and dioxins – from sources surrounding Lake Superior. The results provide a template for similar toxic reduction programs in other Great Lakes. Read More »

IJC to schoolchildren: Stop Feeding the Algae Monster!

IJC admin | 2014/07/07

"Stop Feeding the Algae Monster!" --- a game created by the IJC`s Great Lakes Regional Office --- has been played at local water festivals throughout the Detroit/Windsor region. It’s part of educational outreach for our work on reducing algal blooms that in recent years have plagued Lake Erie and other Great Lakes waters. Read More »

Responding to Rainy River-Lake of the Woods Conditions

IJC admin | 2014/07/02

The Rainy River basin has been living up to its name, with historic rain and flooding in recent months. Local officials, residents and groups including the IJC’s Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board have been monitoring the situation, helping get the word out about conditions and response efforts, and alerting residents on ways to protect their docks, homes and other property. I was able to visit the area recently, and was struck by the way people are working together to weather this storm. Read More »

Reversing Harm and Balancing Interests Under Plan 2014

IJC admin | 2014/06/17

A new Plan 2014 for the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River system strikes a balance. It would update an existing regulation plan for the Moses-Saunders dam called 1958DD. The new Plan 2014 would produce a huge improvement in coastal ecosystems – helping restore some 64,000 acres of wetlands that foster aquatic life and filter polluted runoff – in return for a small reduction in benefits. Read More »

How We Got Here: The Journey to Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Regulation

IJC admin | 2014/06/13

An upcoming water levels regulation plan for the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River will be announced on June 17 by IJC, and formally submitted to the federal governments of Canada and the U.S. In the meantime, we’d like to remind people about the careful thought, consideration and science that went into charting this course. Read More »