Report of the Great Lakes Science Advisory Board
5.1
INTRODUCTION
T
he scope of the Great Lakes Science Advisory Board’s
A significant outcome of the expert consultation was
(SAB) work also extends to the scientific dimensions
5.1
recognition of the policy and institutional dimensions of
of “emerging issues”; a term that includes issues that
emerging issues.  Research, monitoring and data analysis
are new arrivals on the public policy agenda as well as
needs associated with the identification of emerging issues
those that are established, but changing in substance, scope
were documented, but it also was noted that science can
or significance.   The centerpiece of this priority activity in
only be effective when conducted via institutional arrange-
the 2001-2003 biennium was the conduct of an “expert
ments that encouraged its application in the decision-
consultation” in partnership with other Great Lakes Water
making process.  Toward that end, several overarching
Quality Agreement institutions of the IJC (the Great Lakes
recommendations were generated that are of critical
Water Quality Board, Council of Great Lakes Research
importance if a science-based approach to implemen-
Managers, and International Air Quality Advisory Board),
tation of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement is
Environment Canada, the U.S. Environmental Protection
desired.  The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement
Agency, and The Johnson Foundation.  Objectives included
must be reviewed in a comprehensive manner and
a scoping exercise to identify issues of importance under
with an eye toward revisions that will allow it to reflect
the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement over the next 25
a current vision of goals, priorities and institutional
years; binational discourse among eminent U.S. and
arrangements.
Canadian scientists; and the identification of specific
initiatives to ensure progress under the Great Lakes Water
Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement implementation
Quality Agreement.  Topics to guide discussion included
requires a greater degree of accountability, benchmarks for
new non-chemical stressors, new chemicals, new effects,
measuring progress and an aggressive implementation
changing ecology of the Great Lakes, and new policies.
schedule that reflects the urgency of basin ecosystem
restoration and protection efforts.  As well, the need for a
binational, science-based decision support system with
requisite monitoring and information/data management
Toward  that  end,  several  overarching
components; and new/revised institutional mechanisms
recommendations  were  generated  that  are  of
that move the notion of an “ecosystem approach” to water
quality from concept to reality by integrating governance
critical importance if a science-based approach to
responsibilities for air, land and water management across
implementation of the Great Lakes Water Quality
all relevant levels of government.
Agreement  is  desired.    The  Great  Lakes  Water
Quality  Agreement  must  be  reviewed  in  a
comprehensive  manner  and  with  an  eye  toward
revisions that will allow it to reflect a current vision
of goals, priorities and institutional arrangements.
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