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

Upcoming Meetings

The International Red River Board (IRRB) and the International Joint Commission (IJC) will be hosting a public open house meeting at the Fort Garry Hotel, Winnipeg, MB on Thursday, January 25, 2018 from 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. This year’s Public Input Session will take place as part of the Red River Basin Commission’s Annual Summit Conference during the lunch hour. The IRRB assists the International Joint Commission in preventing and resolving disputes relating to the transboundary waters of the Red River Basin.  

To learn more visit the International Red River Board's website

 

Recent Meetings

Click here to read the Great Lakes Executive Committee's Terms of References.

The IJC Executive Meetings will be held from June 10th to June 13th.

Minutes of previous IJC meetings can be found here.

The 56th Annual Conference on Great Lakes Research will be held on the campus of Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Indiana: http://www.iaglr.org/iaglr2013/



The Blue Water Sturgeon Festival is a one-day festival offering close encounters with these “Gentle Giants of the Great Lakes”. The lake sturgeon, one of four freshwater sturgeon, is the largest fish and the only sturgeon found in the Great Lakes. The festival will feature a Huron Lady Sturgeon Cruise and indoor and outdoor interactive exhibits along the shores of the St. Clair River showcasing these prehistoric freshwater creatures.


http://www.sturgeonfestival.com/

What: Great Lakes Water Levels Management briefing
When: Thursday, May 30, 2013, 11 a.m.
Where: Senate Russell building, Room 485
Who: IJC and U.S. Army Corps


Water Levels & Management in the Upper Great Lakes

A new plan

Honorary cosponsors of this briefing are Senate and House Great Lakes Task Force Co-Chairs Senator Carl Levin, Senator Mark Kirk, Congresswoman Miller, Congressman Dingell, Congressman Duffy, and Congresswoman Slaughter

Thursday, May 30, 2013
Senate Russell 485
11:00 a.m.

Speakers:
Deborah H. Lee, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Chief, Water Management Division, Great Lakes and Ohio River Division
Mark Colosimo, International Joint Commission, Engineering Advisor

The International Joint Commission (IJC), a binational body created to handle water boundary disputes and management between the U.S. and Canada under the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty, recently released its final advice to governments regarding its multi-year study of the water levels in the Upper Great Lakes (Superior, Michigan, Huron, including the St. Clair River). This report combines two previous reports in 2009 on the St. Clair River and in 2012 on the Upper Great Lakes that provided background on the manmade, geological, and climactic impacts on the lake water levels. Year-to-year and decadal climate variations result in water levels that range from 2-3 feet above or below the long-term average, depending on the particular lake. Since the late 18th century, dredging and other channel changes in the St. Clair and Detroit rivers are estimated to have lowered Lakes Michigan-Huron by approximately 16 inches. Low water levels are impacting local businesses, towns, and communities, and these studies provide background for policy-makers and regional leaders.

Water level extremes can have profound effects on commercial shipping, hydropower generation, recreational boating, coastal communities, tourism, municipal and industrial water uses, and wetlands, fisheries and wildlife. Because the climate is changing and our ability to alter lake levels through lake regulation is limited, the IJC has recommended a broad, comprehensive approach to manage the impacts of changing lake levels.

The IJC and Army Corps of Engineers will provide information on the recent advice and adaptive management planning, including:

- How the IJC will be implementing changes to the regulation of water flowing out of Lake Superior through the St. Marys River and into the rest of the Great Lakes, based on the five-year, peer-reviewed study published March 2012. [Note: The IJC briefed staff after publication of the study and in December 2012 as well, including the public comment received on the study.]

- The IJC’s recommendation to the U.S. and Canadian governments to investigate structural options to restore Lakes Michigan-Huron water levels by 5-10 inches.

- The final Adaptive Management Report that is currently being reviewed and informed by public comment received on the draft (closed April 15, 2013).

 

Official website: http://www.cmos.ca/congress2013/en/index.shtml

"The Lake St. Clair Water Festival provides free, hands-on opportunities for 4th and 5th grade students to learn about using and preserving the Lake St. Clair Watershed." http://www.lakestclairwaterfestival.org

http://www.detroitriverwaterfestival.com/


The Detroit River Water Festival is a day-long educational event designed to help sixth-grade students learn about our most precious natural resource – clean, fresh water. Students from Detroit and Windsor area will come together to learn about the Detroit River in this bi-national event.

This FREE program helps students appreciate the importance of water and how it impacts their daily lives. It also provides students with hands-on activities to help them understand water resource-related topics including ecosystems, social studies, the geosphere and the hydrologic cycle. Students will learn the central role water and the Detroit River play in the region’s economy and quality of life.

Classes will rotate through four different outdoor and indoor learning stations along the Detroit Riverfront. Indoor presentations will take place in the GM Learning Center inside the Renaissance Center. Lunch will be provided to students at Rivard Plaza.

Many partners have come together to make this event happen. We thank the following organizations for their contributions to the planning commitee as volunteers to support the design and execution of the festival.

Monday, April 16: Executive Meeting

Tuesday, April 17: Executive Meeting

Wednesday, April 17: Board Appearances

8:30 am - International Red River Board

9:30 am - International Souris River Board

10:45 pm - International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board

1:45 pm - International St. Croix River Watershed Board

2:45 pm - International Lake Champlain-Richelieu River Plan of Study Workgroup

4:00 pm - International Osoyoos Lake Board of Control

Thursday, April 18: Board Appearances

8:30 am - Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Adaptive Management Task Team

9:30 am - International St. Lawrence River Board of Control, International Niagara Board of Control, and International Lake Superior Board of Control

10:45 am - St. Lawrence River Board of Control, International Niagara Board of Control, and International Lake Superior Board of Control

1:15 pm - Great Lakes Water Quality Board

2:00 pm - Great Lakes Science Advisory Board

3:00 pm - Council of Great Lakes Research Managers

3:45 pm - Health Professionals Advisory Board 

The Adaptive Management Task Team will be hosting a series of webinars to provide more information on different aspects of the draft adaptive management plan. Please visit this website for more information: http://ijc.org/boards/stlawrencerivertaskteam/activities/.

Adaptive Management Pilot Projects (French session)

The proposed Adaptive Management Plan is based on a level of collaboration that is well beyond typical practices. One of the early steps in implementing the Plan will be to work with partners to apply the principles of adaptive management on a pilot basis tailored to specific local or regional issues. This session will describe the rationale for the Pilot Projects, their goal, the role of the Levels Advisory Board, and how they might be carried out.


The Adaptive Management Task Team will be hosting a series of webinars to provide more information on different aspects of the draft adaptive management plan. Please visit this website for more information: http://ijc.org/boards/stlawrencerivertaskteam/activities/.

Adaptive Management Pilot Projects(English session)
The proposed Adaptive Management Plan is based on a level of collaboration that is well beyond typical practices. One of the early steps in implementing the Plan will be to work with partners to apply the principles of adaptive management on a pilot basis tailored to specific local or regional issues. This session will describe the rationale for the Pilot Projects, their goal, the role of the Levels Advisory Board, and how they might be carried out.

The Adaptive Management Task Team will be hosting a series of webinars to provide more information on different aspects of the draft adaptive management plan. Please visit this website for more information: http://ijc.org/boards/stlawrencerivertaskteam/activities/.

Governance for Adaptive Management 
How do we coordinate adaptive management activities? This session will describe the two new bodies that are proposed for implementation of the Adaptive Management Plan – the Board of Control Adaptive Management Committee and the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Levels Advisory Board. The presentation will include the roles and responsibilities of the bodies, their reporting structures, possible composition and other matters.

The Adaptive Management Task Team will be hosting a series of webinars to provide more information on different aspects of the draft adaptive management plan. Please visit this website for more information: http://ijc.org/boards/stlawrencerivertaskteam/activities/.

Outreach and Engagement
The proposed Adaptive Management Plan is based on collaborating with the numerous agencies, organizations and stakeholders in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River system that are involved with or affected by water levels. This session will describe the education and engagement aspects ofthe Plan, which includes reaching out with information and knowledge on risks of extreme water levels and possible optionsto addressimpacts, as well as engaging agencies, organizations and stakeholders in the adaptive management process and regional risk management and promoting the sharing, exchange and leveraging of related programs and activities for supporting adaptive management. The presentation will also describe the proposed Outreach and Engagement Network and priority tasks to be undertaken.

The Adaptive Management Task Team will be hosting a series of webinars to provide more information on different aspects of the draft adaptive management plan. Please visit this website for more information: http://ijc.org/boards/stlawrencerivertaskteam/activities/.

Information Management and Distribution
Information and data management systems are critical components ofthe Adaptive Management Plan. This session will describe proposed actions to facilitate effective and efficient means of compiling, vetting, coordinating and distributing water level-related data and information for use by those responsible for managing Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River water level related impacts(such as shoreline managers and practitioners) and stakeholders. The presentation will also describe the proposed Information Management and Distribution Network and priority tasks to be undertaken.

The Adaptive Management Task Team will be hosting a series of webinars to provide more information on different aspects of the draft adaptive management plan. Please visit this website for more information: http://ijc.org/boards/stlawrencerivertaskteam/activities/.

Plan Evaluation and Decision Tools
How can we cost-effectively evaluate our lake Regulation Plans over time? This session will provide information on existing tools and methods that can be used to evaluate the lake Regulation Plans. These include the Shared Vision Models and Integrated Ecological Response Models developed for the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River and International Upper Great Lakes Studies and other tools for flood and erosion prediction, flood impact analysis, commercial navigation, shore protection model, and low water assessment as well as the potential for new tools. The presentation will also describe the proposed Plan Evaluation and Decision Tools Network and priority tasks to be undertaken.

The International Souris River Board is inviting public comment on a Plan of Study for the review of the water supply and flood operating plan contained in the 1989 Canada-United States Agreement for Water Supply and Flood Control in the Souris River Basin.

Members of the public are invited to view a presentation on the plan of study and provide comments at the webinar. For more information please visit this website: http://ijc.org/boards/isrb/activities/.

The International St. Lawrence River Board of Control invites you to participate in a multicity teleconference to discuss the regulation of outflows and water levels in the Lake Ontario/St. Lawrence River System.

Please visit this website for more information: http://ijc.org/boards/islrbc/activities/ 

The Adaptive Management Task Team will be hosting a series of webinars to provide more information on different aspects of the draft adaptive management plan. Please visit this website for more information: http://ijc.org/boards/stlawrencerivertaskteam/activities/.

Performance Indicators and Risk Assessment
How can we measure changes in water level impacts and our success in managing the impacts of extreme water levels? This session will cover the role of performance indicators in adaptive management and how they would be used for evaluating Regulation Plans and in risk assessment. The presentation will also describe the proposed Performance Indicator/Risk Assessment Network and priority tasks to be undertaken.


The Adaptive Management Task Team will be hosting a series of webinars to provide more information on different aspects of the draft adaptive management plan. Please visit this website for more information: http://ijc.org/boards/stlawrencerivertaskteam/activities/.

Hydroclimate Monitoring and Modeling
With our changing climate, it is likely that increases in temperature and alterations in patterns of precipitation are likely to affect water levels in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River system. This session will cover the key water level issues associated with climate change and the need for monitoring and coordinating hydroclimate science. The presentation will also describe the proposed Hydroclimate Monitoring and Modeling Network and priority tasks to be undertaken... more

The Great Lakes, Great Challenges Forum 2013 will be held March 14th on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.  The daylong conference is free and open to the public.  Morning sessions will focus on challenges facing the Great Lakes, such as harmful algae in Lake Erie, while afternoon sessions will target solutions such as green infrastructure.  - See more at: http://www.ijc.org/en_/news?news_id=96#sthash.nz4J23Ha.dpuf

2013/03/05 Great Lakes Day

Great Lakes Day in Washington

The Great Lakes Commission Semiannual Meeting and Great Lakes Day events feature dialogue on Great Lakes priorities by regional leaders and members of Congress, including Obama appointees who play a critical role in shaping Great Lakes policies.

2013/02/13 IJC Retreat