Deposition Network and the Binational Toxics Strategy
provide high quality information and interpreting the data
(Canada and U.S., 1997).
for decision makers, while maintaining confidentiality.
There is considerable merit in developing a binational
Greater institutional capacity to coordinate and integrate
institution to collect, store and manage high quality Great
roles, responsibilities and decision making to provide
Lakes information to support agency policies and pro-
greater accountability among all levels of government is
grams, as well as Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement
required.  Policy making in the future will increasingly
activities.
depend upon on a hierarchy of global, continental,
national and local initiatives employing a wide variety of
New chemicals of concern are being identified through the
principles, instruments, methodologies and processes.
development of screening assessments using Quantitative
Structure Activity Relationships, the use of release invento-
Major reinvestments in scientific infrastructure for the
ries to identify high production volume chemicals and
basin are required to provide improved monitoring and
advancements in analytical methodology and equipment
more importantly, to develop a capability for ecosystem
have resulted in improved capabilities to identify new
forecasting.  Decisions that impinge on Great Lakes water
classes of chemicals of concern in the Great Lakes.  How-
quality cannot be made wisely on the basis of current
ever, exposure assessment and effective monitoring is still
information, especially due to its lack of integration.  New
needed to evaluate the significance in terms of Great Lakes
technologies have the potential to attain forecasting
water quality. Analytical method development needs to
capability through the innovation of continuous real time
keep pace with the identification of new substances.
monitoring employing integrated observation and monitor-
ing systems.  Such capabilities hold major promise for
An urban renaissance is underway based, in part, on the
managers and decision makers to “get ahead of the
value of the water resource to impart the qualities of the
problem curve” and to be truly proactive. The identification
natural environment within the developed area.  A funda-
mental tenet of that renaissance is creating the conditions
of new effects requires greatly enhanced monitoring, data
for the natural environment to reestablish itself in harmony
sharing and ecosystem forecasting.  Greater access to data;
with the built environment.  Developed waterfronts present
better basin wide data management; and detailed basin-
wide, binational scientific assessments are needed to
unique opportunities for this to occur, and especially to
interpret and coordinate effects based research that
bring natural amenities into the core of the city.  Encour-
encompasses an ecosystem approach.
agement and innovation at the site level is evident through
the adoption of green design concepts, such as the Leader-
ship in Energy and Design principles, which could com-
Superior data management to inform decision making and
prise further opportunities for extension into broader
reduce scientific uncertainty of a decision will be required
policy principles at the basin level.
for future policy making. The model for this capability
exists with Statistics Canada, whose singular role is to
Three key Great Lakes policy challenges will be increas-
ingly relevant over the next 25 years:  agricultural policy
will need to move beyond developing “farm nutrient
Superior  data  management  to  inform  decision
management plans” to consider manure, primarily, as a
making  and  reduce  scientific  uncertainty  of  a
waste to be managed rather than as a source of nutrients;
treated waste water will need to be reused and recycled;
decision will be required for future policy making.
and, finally, environmental and economic considerations
The model for this capability exists with Statistics
must be better integrated into policy decisions.
Canada,  whose  singular  role  is  to  provide  high
Broader ecosystem based management strategies are
quality  information  and  interpreting  the  data  for
needed in order to manage resources, such as the fishery,
to maintain biodiversity and to support land-use decision
decision makers, while maintaining confidentiality.
making.  Centers of biological organization such as the
There  is  considerable  merit  in  developing  a
Biodiversity Investment Areas identified by State of the
Lakes Ecosystem Conference, need to be vigorously
binational institution to collect, store and manage
protected and maintained. It is theorized that the future
high  quality  Great  Lakes  information  to  support
ecology of the Great Lakes may be unpredictable because
agency policies and programs, as well as Great Lakes
it is unstable, based on the scientific understanding that a
well-functioning ecosystem hierarchy has few surprises.
Water Quality Agreement activities.
Biological integrity, and how to achieve it, is not scientifi-
cally well defined or understood, however the importance
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