7.1
INTRODUCTION
Full reports on the SAB’s three priorities, including
7.1.1
Background
associated findings and recommendations, are found in
7.1
T
other chapters in this report as indicated above.  In
he Great Lakes Science Advisory Board (SAB) is
developing these recommendations, a primary theme
responsible, under the terms of the Great Lakes Water
emerged concerning the SAB’s advisory role under the
Quality Agreement, signed by Canada and the United
terms of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.  Simply
States (the Parties), for “developing recommendations . . .
stated, the IJC and the Parties’ ability to provide sound and
pertinent to the identification, evaluation and resolution of
effective leadership is fundamentally dependent upon the
current and anticipated problems related to Great Lakes
existence of a policy and institutional infrastructure that
water quality.”  As scientific advisor to both the International
nurtures and provides for science-based decision support.
Joint Commission (IJC) and its Great Lakes Water Quality
Toward that end, the SAB reiterates its recommenda-
Board, the SAB formulates its advice by reviewing scientific
tion for a thorough and expeditious review of the
information; examining analyses, assessments and recom-
Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement with an eye
mendations; and consulting with relevant experts.  Its
toward revisions that safeguard past progress on water
breadth of responsibility encompasses all matters of a
quality while acknowledging and addressing new
scientific or research nature relating to the operation and
priorities, ecosystem needs, scientific advances and
effectiveness of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.
institutional arrangements since its last revision some
Comprising 18 IJC-appointed members drawn equally from
16 years ago.
Canada and the United States, the SAB membership includes
recognized experts in a variety of disciplines that include the
physical, biological and social sciences.  The SAB is organized
7.1.3
Report on Watching Briefs
into three work groups, 1. Ecosystem Health, 2. Parties
Implementation, and 3. Emerging Issues; and is supported
As a scientific adviser to the IJC and the Great Lakes Water
by a small IJC secretariat.  The work of the SAB and its work
Quality Board, the SAB is responsible for “developing
groups is guided by a set of biennial priorities established by
recommendations on all matters related to research and
the IJC after extensive expert and public consultation.  In
the development of scientific knowledge pertinent to the
addition to IJC priority topics, the SAB actively monitors a
identification, evaluation and resolution of current and
larger range of scientific issues relevant to Great Lakes Water
anticipated problems related to Great Lakes water quality.”
Quality Agreement implementation and advises the IJC
In order to formulate its advice, the SAB is directed to
accordingly.
review scientific information, to seek analyses, assessments
and recommendations from other scientific groups and to
report on all matters of a scientific or research nature
7.1.2
Priority Work of the Science Advisory Board
relating to the operation and effectiveness of the Great
as Assigned by the International Joint
Lakes Water Quality Agreement.
Commission
In order to fulfill this broad mandate, the work groups
Priorities assigned to the SAB during the 2001-2003 biennium
maintain watching briefs regarding new scientific knowl-
included the health effects of mercury in the Great Lakes
edge and developments that may have implications for
basin (Chapter 1); the impacts of urban and urbanizing
Great Lakes water quality.  From time to time this informa-
development on Great Lakes water quality (Chapter 3); and
tion warrants a summary report from the workgroups to
identification of  “emerging issues” of interest under the
the SAB, whereupon it may be reviewed and approved for
terms and authorities of the Great Lakes Water Quality
use in this report.  The following reports on watching briefs
Agreement (Chapter 5).  Individually and collectively, these
do not include recommendations from the SAB, as they
priorities speak to the growing complexity of issues affecting
were not initiated directly as SAB sponsored activities.
the integrity of the waters of the Great Lakes basin ecosystem,
Where it is appropriate, “future directions” are indicated to
the interrelatedness of the scientific, policy and management
suggest possible next steps.  These reports on watching
dimensions of such issues, and the need for science-based
briefs thus provide an important opportunity for the SAB to
decision support processes that advance efforts to meet
alert the IJC and the Great Lakes Water Quality Board on a
Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement objectives.
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