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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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 »

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 »