For release: September 22, 2005

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IJC to hold 14 public meetings on future of
Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement

The International Joint Commission (IJC) is inviting the public to a series of meetings in 14 cities across the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River basin in Canada and the United States in October and November. Participants will be asked to express their views on what needs to be done to protect water quality in their communities and on the future of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement between the two countries. The IJC will report these views to the two governments.

First signed in 1972 and last amended nearly 20 years ago, the Water Quality Agreement outlines the commitment of each country to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the waters of the Great Lakes basin ecosystem, including the international portion of the St. Lawrence River. It has resulted in cooperation between the United States and Canada to limit the discharge of nutrients and toxic substances into the waters, restore degraded areas and undertake other joint activities designed to improve water quality.

The two governments will launch a review of the Agreement's operation and effectiveness in early 2006 and have asked the IJC to consult residents about how it has worked so far and whether it should be changed.

"Governments don't live on the Great Lakes, fish on the Great Lakes or drink water from the Great Lakes-people do," said U.S. Section Chair Dennis Schornack. "That's why it's so important for a broad diversity of people on both sides of the border to speak up and help the governments set priorities and develop new initiatives to restore and sustain a healthy Great Lakes ecosystem."

"This is the public's opportunity to tell the governments what they should consider in their review of the Agreement," said the Rt. Hon. Herb Gray, Chair of the IJC's Canadian Section. "This review will likely set the agenda for cooperation between our two countries on the health of the Great Lakes for the next generation."

The IJC's 14 public meetings will take place at the times and locations listed below. For those who cannot attend, the IJC will also conduct a Web Dialogue and accept written and oral submissions until November 30, 2005. For more information, call toll-free at 1 866 813-0642 or visit

Monday, October 17 at 7 p.m.
Montréal, Quebec
City Hall
275 Notre-Dame Street East
Monday, October 24 at 7 p.m.
Duluth, Minnesota
Central Hillside Community Center
12 East 4th Street
Tuesday, October 25 at 7 p.m.
Thunder Bay, Ontario
City Hall, 500 Donald Street East
Thursday, October 27 at 7 p.m.
Sault Ste Marie, Ontario
City Council Chamber, Civic Center, 99 Foster Drive
Tuesday, November 1 at 7 p.m.
Bay City, Michigan
City Hall, 301 Washington Avenue
Tuesday, November 1 at 7 p.m.
Green Bay, Wisconsin
KI Convention Center, 333 Main Street
Wednesday, November 2 at 7 p.m.
Chicago, Illinois
Phelps Auditorium, Shedd Aquarium
1200 South Lake Shore Drive
Wednesday, November 2 at 3 p.m.
Detroit, Michigan
Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce
One Woodward Avenue, Suite 1900
Wednesday, November 2 at 7 p.m.
Windsor, Ontario
Cleary International Centre
201 Riverside Drive West
Thursday, November 3, at 7 p.m.
Cleveland, Ohio
the Rotunda of City Hall
601 Lakeside Avenue
Tuesday, November 8 at 7 p.m.
Quebec City, Quebec
City Hall, 2 rue des Jardins
Tuesday, November 8 at 7 p.m.
Midland, Ontario
Council Chambers
575 Dominion Avenue
Wednesday, November 9 at 7 p.m.
Toronto, Ontario
City Hall
100 Queen Street West
Thursday, November 10 at 7:30 p.m.
Rochester, New York
City Council Chambers
City Hall, 30 Church Street

Comments may also be submitted in writing or by telephone until November 30, 2005:

Contribute online
Call toll-free (866) 813-0642
Fax (613) 993-5583
Write International Joint Commission
Great Lakes Regional Office
100 Ouellette Ave., 8th Floor
Windsor, ON N9A 6T3


P.O. Box 32869
Detroit, MI 48232
United States


Paula Fedeski-Koundakjian Ottawa (613) 995-0088
Frank Bevacqua Washington (202) 736-9024


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