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


Sign up to receive notifications on new articles
Sign Me Up

Featured Post

Subscribe to Great Lakes Connection & Water Matters

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 »

  • Most Recent
  • Most Commented
  • Most Viewed

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 »

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 »