BEACONS OF LIGHT

"Des Lumières dans la Nuit"

Special Report on Successful Strategies Toward Restoration in Areas of Concern under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement

March 1998

The International Joint Commission (IJC) was established through the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty of the United States and Canada. The Treaty recognizes that each country may be affected by the others actions in the lake and river systems along their common border; its purpose is to prevent and resolve disputes concerning these boundary waters. In 1972, the governments of the United States and Canada signed the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. This Agreement was superseded in 1978 by a new Agreement. Its purpose "is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the waters of the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem." IJC is to assist in the implementation of the 1978 Agreement and assess the effectiveness of programs pursuant to it. The Agreement as amended by Protocol in 1987 to require, among other things, the development and implementation of Remedial Action Plans (RAPs) for the 42 designated Areas of Concern (AOCs). IJC was given the task of reviewing and commenting on the RAPs.