Volume 21, Issue 1, 1996
March/April 1996

The International Joint Commission is an independent international organization established under the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909. Its purpose is to help prevent disputes over use of waters shared by Canada and the United States and to provide advice on questions of mutual concern when requested by the two federal governments. Three members are appointed by the President of the United States, with advice and approval of the Senate, and three by the Governor-in-Council of Canada, on the advice of the Prime Minister.

Adèle M. Hurley
Canadian Section Chair

Dr. Pierre Béland
Francis Murphy
Thomas L. Baldini
U.S. Section Chair

Susan Bayh
Alice Chamberlin


Measuring Progress Toward Ecosystem Integrity

How will future activities under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement change? This issue of Focus looks at some of the insights gained at the Biennial Meeting on Great Lakes Water quality that took place last September. After years of debate, the Governments of Canada and the United States are working together to achieve one of the Agreement's main purposes and put in to place a binational industry to further pollution prevention and have formed partnerships with innovative companies such as Avenor. And they have embraced a broader agenda and recognized the need to purse it at the national and global levels.

Meanwhile, communities such as the twin ports of Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin, and organizations such as Great Lakes United are pursuing a range of ambitious projects to demonstrate how zero discharge of persistent toxic substances can be achieved within specific sectors. Economic studies in five substances can be achieved within specific sectors. Economic studies in five Canadian Ares of Concern and communities Jonquiére, Quebec have also demonstrated that investments in restoration and sustainable practices can lead to short-term and long-term gains.

The ultimate results of these efforts, particularly as both countries struggle over government spending and regulation, still remain in question. However, the binational Great Lakes community is showing its resolve to move forward despite the enormous challenges.


Sally Cole-Misch, Executive Editor
Frank Bevacqua, Managing Editor
Bruce Jamieson, Designer
Marie Terrien, Conseil de rédaction
Doug Bondy, Columns Editor

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International Joint Commission
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Revised: 28 February 1997
Maintained by Kevin McGunagle, mcgunaglek@ijc.wincom.net