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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IJC Receives Progress Reports from Boards, Publishes 2013 Activities Report

IJC admin | 2014/05/08

Progress reports from IJC boards that work on issues along the shared waters between our two countries have been posted for public viewing. The IJC has also published its 2013 Activities Report, which sums up work on major projects from last year, and looks ahead to initiatives planned for 2014 and beyond. Read More »

Opportunities and Lessons Learned in Delisting a Pennsylvania Area of Concern

IJC admin | 2014/05/05

While ultimately successful, the AOC process in Pennsylvania was full of challenges and lessons. The lessons learned apply to organizations responsible for Remedial Action Plans and AOC processes elsewhere as well as members of advisory or citizens committees. Read More »

Spring Semi-Annual to Update IJC on Board Activities

IJC admin | 2014/04/24

IJC commissioners will hear important updates from board members at their Spring Semi-Annual Meeting on April 30-May 1 in Washington, D.C. Read More »

In Memoriam: Former Canadian Chair of the International Joint Commission, the Rt. Hon. Herb Gray, P.C., Q.C.

IJC admin | 2014/04/22

The International Joint Commission mourns the loss and celebrates the spirit of the leadership, integrity, and enduring contributions of Rt. Hon. Herb Gray. Following a career in the House of Commons spanning four decades, the Rt. Hon. Herb Gray served the IJC as co-chair from January 2002-2010. Chairman Gray left a lasting legacy at the IJC and our shared waters are better off because of his service. Read More »

Find Out About the International Watersheds Initiative

IJC admin | 2014/04/16

The IWI International Watersheds Initiative (IWI) was created in 1998, after the Canadian and U.S. governments provided funding and direction for the effort. The IWI is about using a watershed-based approach to transboundary challenges like protecting water quality and managing levels and flows. A new brochure tells the story of the IWI. Read More »

Pause for Earth Day: Steps by IJC to Protect the Environment

IJC admin | 2014/04/14

Earth Day is celebrated on April 22. It’s a time to reflect on the needs of our planet, and steps the IJC takes to prevent and address environmental damage. Read More »

Canada-US Data Harmonization Provides New Tools – StreamStats in Development for Rainy River

IJC admin | 2014/04/08

The application of StreamStats for the Rainy River grew out of a data harmonization project that began in 2008 when the IJC created a Transboundary Data Harmonization Task Force. Read More »

EPA Green Infrastructure Grants Bolster Lake Erie Protection - Ontario Encourages Green Planning

IJC admin | 2014/03/31

Grants to Ohio and New York shoreline communities recently announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are significant steps toward restoring Lake Erie water quality. The Commission commends EPA and the communities for undertaking these projects. It is exciting to see them making green infrastructure work for cities on Lake Erie. Read More »

Great Lakes Ballast Water Collaborative Discusses Successes, Challenges of Fighting Aquatic Invasives

IJC admin | 2014/03/28

A summary of the seventh meeting of the Great Lakes Ballast Water Collaborative in Washington, D.C. More than 40 key stakeholders met in person and many more joined via teleconference to discuss the status of current science, research and development, the current regulatory environment, industry perspectives, and the challenges of successfully implementing ballast water management regulations. Read More »

New Great Lakes Water Quality Boards to Build on History of Accomplishments

IJC admin | 2014/03/24

The IJC has revamped its Water Quality and Science Advisory boards under the 2012 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Members of revised Great Lakes boards are reflecting on the accomplishments of their predecessors and challenges that lie ahead. Read More »

Lake Champlain Partnerships Provide High-Resolution Datasets for Flood Resilience

IJC admin | 2014/03/18

Record-setting water levels in Lake Champlain in spring of 2011, followed by devastating rain from tropical storms Irene and Lee later that year made it clear that regional flood prevention measures needed further development. Read More »

Events in Canada and U.S. mark World Water Day

IJC admin | 2014/03/18

World Water Day is March 22. The day was established in 1993 by the United Nations General Assembly to focus attention on the importance and sustainable use of fresh water around the globe. This year, World Water Day’s theme is “water and energy.” The UN predicts that by 2030, the growing global population will need 40 percent more water, and 50 percent more energy. Read More »

The Great Lakes in the Polar Vortex, 2013-14

IJC admin | 2014/03/14

Great Lakes water levels and quality can be affected by forces brewed thousands of kilometers (or miles) away. The unusually cold winter of 2013-14 illustrates this point. Three atmospheric-oceanic factors have combined to create record cold weather for 200 million North Americans from the Rockies to the Atlantic. Read More »

Lake of the Woods Study Team Moves Forward with Plans

IJC admin | 2014/03/03

The International Lake of the Woods Basin Water Quality Plan of Study Team will meet to develop a preliminary draft Plan of Study and seek expert input at a technical workshop in International Falls, Minnesota, on March 11-12. The IJC has appointed Dr. Glenn Benoy, senior water quality and ecosystem adviser with the IJC’s Canadian Section, as the Study Team’s new Canadian co-chair. Read More »

Here’s the Science, Now Action is Needed to Clean Up Lake Erie Algae


The IJC project, also known as LEEP, has involved dozens of scientists from our two countries, who’ve worked to provide scientific and policy advice to reduce nutrient loads and harmful algal blooms. The result is “A Balanced Diet for Lake Erie: Reducing Phosphorus Loadings and Harmful Algal Blooms.” The report addresses the decline in Erie water quality over the past decade. In deteriorating water quality has affected the health of the ecosystem, along with drinking water supplies, fisheries, recreation, and tourism and property values. Read More »

The Value of Observations: The Great Lakes Evaporation Network

IJC admin | 2014/02/18

Surprising as it may sound, year-long, continuous direct measurements of evaporation from the Great Lakes were not made until a project funded by the federal governments of Canada and the United States through the IJC made it possible. A network of five offshore measurement locations operate simultaneously year-round, even through bitter winters, and have provided some fascinating results. Read More »

A Plane with Lasers Helps Answer Questions About Rainy Lake Dams

IJC admin | 2014/02/14

A plane flew in the skies above Rainy Lake and the Namakan Reservoir, along the Canada-U.S. border at Ontario and Minnesota. The flight, late last year, was conducted to collect high-resolution bathymetry data on shoreline and bottom surfaces of the waterways. The point of the work is to support studies designed to allow managers to assess whether water levels are better, worse, or neutral under the 2000 rule curves for dam operations on the lake and reservoir, compared to previous rule curves from 1970. Read More »

Balancing the Economy and Environment in Great Lakes Waterways

IJC admin | 2014/02/06

The Great Lakes Waterways Conference is an ideal forum for hearing a wide variety of views on issues that affect all aspects of the Great Lakes, from transportation to recreation, ecosystems, and economics. Participants find that it provides the kind of perspective that everyone needs to truly understand the consequences of environmental management decisions. Read More »

Wetlands Get a Holiday: World Wetlands Day

IJC admin | 2014/01/31

World Wetlands Day on Feb. 2 marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands in 1971, an international treaty on the conservation of wetlands. Countries including Canada and the U.S. have joined. Read More »

Changing of the Guard: Canadian Chair Comuzzi departs; Commissioner Walker Assumes Responsibilities

IJC admin | 2014/01/23

After four years of service, the Hon. Joseph Comuzzi’s term as Canadian Chair of the International Joint Commission ended on Jan. 14, 2014. On Jan. 15, 2014, the government of Canada appointed Commissioner Gordon Walker as Acting Chair of the IJC’s Canadian Section. Read More »

The Great Lakes Are One Big Basin: Health and Environmental Data Should Be, Too

IJC admin | 2014/01/07

Health and environmental exposure data isn’t being collected in an ideal way, to allow public health and environmental scientists and managers easy access to examine and compare it across the Great Lakes basin. A report urges leaders in the two countries to make improvements that will allow scientists and others to better integrate data, and connect the dots between environmental risks and public health. Read More »’s Greatest Hits of 2013

IJC admin | 2014/01/03

Here are some of the most-visited pages on for 2013. You might call this a “Best Of” compilation, since we’ve included items from our newsletter, along with specific sections, publications and news releases. Happy New Year! Read More »

Dispatches from Ottawa: Good News, Good People, and Good Things to Come

IJC admin | 2014/01/02

A summary of highlights from the Fall Semi-Annual Meeting in Ottawa, Ontario. Overall, the news from the shared Canada-United States boundary was good. On balance, IJC boards charged with efforts to manage flows, water quality, and aquatic resources reported that people living along the waters shared by the two countries avoided extreme flooding and drought conditions. Read More »

2013 Resources from the IJC’s Fall Semi-Annual Meeting in Ottawa

IJC admin | 2013/12/17

A roundup of links to official Progress Reports submitted by some boards during their appearances before the Commission, and photos from Ottawa posted to our Flickr page. Read More »

The Great Lakes Compact Still Needs Champions

IJC admin | 2013/12/16

People throughout the Great Lakes basin continue to be concerned about water levels, water diversions, and what can and can’t be controlled by the IJC and other agencies in Canada and the U.S. Lana Pollack, the IJC’s U.S. Section chair, recently spoke in Chicago at a conference of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL) on “Great Lakes Water Levels and State Roles in Addressing Water Withdrawals and the Future of the Great Lakes Compact." Read More »