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Release date: Immediate - May 20, 1998

Contact:

Windsor/Detroit Jennifer Day (519) 257-6733
Or (313) 226-2170 ext. 6733
Ottawa Fabien Lengellé (613) 995-0088
Washington Frank Bevacqua (202) 736-9024

International Great Lakes Community to Meet in Milwaukee to Discuss Great Lakes Water Quality at 1999 Biennial Forum of the International Joint Commission

The International Joint Commission announces that it has selected Milwaukee, Wisconsin as the site of its 1999 Biennial Forum on Great Lakes Water Quality. The theme of partnerships and progress in cleaning up the Great Lakes will be the focus of the meeting to be held September 24-26, 1999.

Under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, the International Joint Commission prepares a comprehensive assessment every two years on progress to clean up the Great Lakes. As part of this assessment, the Biennial Forum provides an opportunity for citizens, government officials, industry, environmental organizations, scientists, the media and others from Canada and the United States to meet and discuss issues of concern regarding the Great Lakes ecosystem and to provide information to the Commission. Other scheduled events during the three-day meeting will include presentations by the U.S. and Canadian governments on their programs and progress to clean up the Great Lakes, educational workshops, and time for attendees from around the Great Lakes basin to network and caucus. All sessions are open to the public.

"The International Joint Commission is excited about the opportunity to host this next biennial forum on Lake Michigan and in the city of Milwaukee," said U.S. Commissioner and Indiana resident Susan Bayh. "IJC has an on-going interest in the productive, community-led cleanup efforts around Lake Michigan and this meeting will give us an opportunity to share these ideas with others from around the Great Lakes basin to build partnerships and good working relationships."

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 counties to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the waters of the Great Lakes basin ecosystem.

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