Release date: March 25, 1998

Contact Jennifer Day In Canada (519) 257-6733
In the U.S. (313) 226-2170 ext. 6733

International Joint Commission Releases Special Report on Pollution Cleanup Efforts in Great Lakes Areas of Concern

In order to facilitate the cleanup of all Areas of Concern around the Great Lakes basin, the International Joint Commission (IJC) has released a special report detailing successful and creative concepts, techniques and partnerships being used in seven specific shoreline areas, identified as pollution hot spots, to cleanup historical pollution, prevent or reduce the release of new pollution and restore the beneficial uses of our common waterways.

It is hoped that the sharing and publicizing of these successful strategies will give needed information and inspiration to other Areas of Concern where progress has been more difficult. In addition to successful strategies, the report details several common obstacles affecting cleanup and provides recommendations on how federal, state/provincial and local governments can direct change.

The Great Lake areas discussed are the Black River in Lorain, Ohio; The Grand Calumet River and Indiana Ship Canal near Gary, Indiana; Hamilton Harbour on the western tip of Lake Ontario; the Ashtabula River in Ashtabula, Ohio; the Bay of Quinte near Kingston, Ontario; the Manistique River in Manistique, Michigan; and Muskegon and White Lakes on the western shore of Lake Michigan.

The governments of the U.S. and Canada, in a 1987 Protocol to The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, designated 42 Areas of Concern around the Great Lakes Basin, where poor water quality had caused or was likely to cause impairments to human uses of the water and its ability to support aquatic life.

IJC is a binational Canada-United States organization established by The Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 to help the two Governments prevent and resolve disputes over use of waters along the U.S. and Canada boundary. Under the 1978 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, IJC assesses progress by the two countries to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the waters of the Great Lakes basin ecosystem. The full text of this report is available on the Internet at

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