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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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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 »

You’ve Taken the Test Drive, Now Take the Survey

IJC admin | 2014/06/10

We’d like to hear from you, the folks who use the IJC website and rely on it for information. Tell us what improvements you’d like to see, or any particular problems you’ve had. Read More »

Departing GLRO Director Locke Rides His Motorcycle North for New Adventures


The last time staff at the IJC’s Windsor, Ontario, office saw Stephen Locke, he was roaring off on a motorcycle toward a new assignment at the North Pole, or somewhere near it. Read More »

Taking the Pulse of the Great Lakes: New Information on Ecosystem Indicators

IJC admin | 2014/06/05

The Great Lakes ecosystem is complex --- human behavior, chemical pollutants, and native and invasive species are all interconnected. Measures are needed to take the pulse of the system, the same way a doctor takes the blood pressure of a patient. These measures are called indicators. Read More »

Your Backyard is Bigger Than What You Can See

IJC admin | 2014/05/30

“Geography is linked to the environment,” says Connie Wyatt Anderson, a high school teacher in Manitoba. “In the Lake Winnipeg watershed, what you throw into the Bow River in Calgary eventually ends up in Hudson Bay.” Wyatt Anderson is chair of Canadian Geographic Education, which has big plans for making sure more people --- especially children in the two countries --- find out everything they can about the Lake Winnipeg watershed, from the area it drains to the people and wildlife that live there. Read More »

Success Stories from the Red River Basin

IJC admin | 2014/05/28

The Red River Basin Commission appreciates all levels of action implemented every day in the Red River basin. A Success Stories Initiative highlights stories that are not as well-publicized as larger high-profile projects. Read More »

A Balancing Act: Lake Superior Regulation and the St. Marys River

IJC admin | 2014/05/21

The International Lake Superior Board of Control recently increased the total outflow from Lake Superior through the St. Marys River. As is typical for this time of year, the outflow is expected to continue increasing over the summer months before beginning to decline in the fall. To allow for the increase in outflow, the flow through the gated dam at the head of the St. Marys Rapids, known as the Compensating Works, also was increased. Why is this necessary, and why now? Read More »

It’s Official! Detroit River Fish are Tasty

IJC admin | 2014/05/16

Walleye, perch and other Detroit River fish taste good. And that’s official. Tainted fish flavor has been removed from a list of beneficial use impairments in the Detroit River Area of Concern. Read More »

The Erie Canal is a Battleground Against Invasive Hydrilla

IJC admin | 2014/05/13

Hydrilla is an aggressive, opportunistic, aquatic nuisance plant species that has spread from its native Asia to every continent except Antarctica. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Buffalo District, in cooperation with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), is serving as the lead agency for an eradication demonstration project for control of the invasive plant in the Erie Canal and Tonawanda Creek. Eradication is particularly important given the economic and ecological value of the waterway and risk of spread to multiple water bodies throughout New York and the Great Lakes. Read More »