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News Release
July 30, 2012

Public Meetings on Lake Erie Ecosystem Priority

[Windsor, Ontario] - The International Joint Commission (IJC) will be hosting public meetings in eight communities on both sides of the border in August and September, providing information about its Lake Erie Ecosystem Priority (LEEP) and hearing from the public about concerns regarding nutrient pollution and harmful algal blooms.  Previously, the IJC announced that a key research focus of the Commission under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement is developing the essential elements of a plan to help governments address the challenges facing Lake Erie.

Date

Town

Venue

 Address

August 20

Leamington, ON

Kinsmen Recreation Complex

249 Sherk Street

August 21

Port Stanley, ON

Port Stanley Arena and Community Centre

332 Carlow Road

August 22

Dunnville, ON

Dunnville Community Lifespan Centre

275 Ramsay Drive

August 23

Monroe, MI

Monroe City Hall

120 E. First Street

August 27

Port Clinton, OH

Sutton Center

1848 E. Perry Street

August 28

Windsor, ON

Windsor Public Library (Central)

850 Ouellette Avenue

September 10

Cleveland, OH

Idea Center at Playhouse Square

1375 Euclid Avenue

September 20

Grosse Pointe Farms, MI

Grosse Pointe War Memorial

32 Lake Shore Road

The public sessions begin at 6 pm with an open house/poster session during which experts will be available to answer questions.  There will be a short presentation at 7 pm, followed by public comments and additional questions until 9 pm. The public meeting in Cleveland is part of Great Lakes Week activities and while the presentation will focus on Lake Erie, comments are welcome on all issues related to water quality in the Great Lakes. 

The Lake Erie Ecosystem Priority is examining both scientific and social/economic issues related to excess algal growth in Lake Erie.  For example, a binational group of scientists is examining the source of phosphorus loads to the lake and how climate change might affect the amount and timing of those inputs.  They are also assessing the adequacy of monitoring programs and the effectiveness of agricultural and urban best management practices and other alternative solutions to reducing nutrient loads.  Other researchers are looking at the economic impact of excess algal growth compared to the costs and benefits of potential solutions.

Draft research papers on these topics are expected to be completed by the end of 2012 and those papers will inform an expert forum to be held in February 2013.  A draft report will be released to the public for comment in the summer of 2013 and a final report by October 2013.   Subsequently, the IJC will focus on implementation and governance issues.

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