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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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 »

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 »