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Great Lakes Article:

IJC releases Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement report
www.newswatch50.com
Published April 20, 2006


The commission in charge of regulating waterway disputes between the U.S. and Canada has released a report on the views of residents and businesses along the St. Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes on the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

Today the International Joint Commission released a report titled Synthesis of Public Comment on the Forthcoming Review by the Federal Governments of Canada and the United States of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. The report polled more than 4,100 people and organizations on their views on the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and its review. The Commission held 15 public meetings around the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence basin, conducted a four-day interactive Web Dialogue and received comments by e-mail, mail, fax and telephone.

The study found, among other things:

  • Participants expressed strong support for the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and wanted all levels of government to reinvigorate their efforts to implement it
  • Participants demanded good water quality and said it is essential to ensure a healthy future for the lakes and the socio-economic well being of the basin's residents and their communities
  • Considerable concern was expressed about aquatic invasive species and many participants also wanted this issue to be included in a revised Agreement
  • Participants in different parts of the basin said the Agreement should include the St. Lawrence River, downstream of the international boundary at Cornwall, Ontario and Massena, New York
  • Many participants voiced support for a stronger Commission role to hold Governments accountable for achieving their Agreement commitments, to educate the public about the Agreement and to facilitate public input during the review of the Agreement

    The governments of Canada and the United States have now begun their review of the Agreement and will draw on the IJC's report in that process.

    The International Joint Commission prevents and resolves disputes between the United States of America and Canada under the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty and pursues the common good of both countries as an independent and objective advisor to the two governments.

    The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement between Canada and the United States expresses the commitment of each country to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the Great Lakes basin ecosystem. First signed in 1972 by Pierre Trudeau and Richard Nixon, it was last revised in 1987.

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