Plans...to Attend the IJC's Great Lakes Conference and Biennial
Released May 17, 2005
OTTAWA- The International Joint Commission (IJC) is
calling on the public to help shape the review of the Great
Quality Agreement at its 2005 Great Lakes Conference and
Biennial Meeting. The meeting will be held on the campus
of Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, on June 9-11,
First signed in 1972, the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement
amended in 1987 but has not been updated or changed since.
New threats to the well-being of the Great Lakes ecosystem
are becoming better defined. The public's views on the future
of the Agreement are needed to ensure that the agreement
continues to guide the governments' clean-up and protection
of the Great Lakes.
With the theme, "Make Big Plans," the event brings
together experts and
citizens from the Great Lakes basin community to examine
the effectiveness of binational initiatives to restore the
waters of the Great Lakes Basin ecosystem. Of note, the
meeting is expected to coincide with the launch of the review
of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA) by the
governments of the U.S. and Canada.
"Champlain called these lakes the 'sweet water seas,'"
Canadian Chair of the IJC, Herb Gray notes. "It is
our responsibility to do what we can to make them 'sweet
water seas' once again for our children and grandchildren.
We urge everyone in the Great Lakes basin to join the discussions
"The Great Lakes are the cultural, ecological and economic
the heartland of both the United States and Canada,"
said U.S. Chair Dennis Schornack. "Restoring their
resiliency requires effective governance, state-of-the-art
science and cutting-edge monitoring tools-all topics of
discussion at this important meeting."
The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Canadian Minister of
the Environment, will share the podium with The Honourable
Leona Dombrowsky, Ontario Minister of the Environment, and
U.S. counterparts (to be announced) in this important discussion.
Keynote speakers at the conference are Dr. David Schindler,
one of North America's most respected and honored freshwater
ecologists, and Dr. David Suzuki, scientist, author and
host of the well-known television program The Nature of
The three-day conference and public meeting includes workshops,
breakout sessions and specific in-depth discussions on a
wide range of topics fundamental to the review of the Agreement
and its future. On a lighter note, an evening reception
will feature the critically-acclaimed musical act, the Great
Thursday's workshops, which will feature the latest scientific
on topics ranging from aquatic invasive species to sustainable
require a registration fee; however, registration for the
Friday and Saturday sessions is free. Special admission
is provided for the media. All participants are requested
to register online at
For more information, visit www.ijc.org (2005 Great Lakes
Conference and Biennial Meeting) or http://www.ijc.org/2005biennial/about_en.php
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.
For further information: Ottawa: Paula Fedeski-Koundakjian,
(613) 995-0088; Washington: Frank Bevacqua, (202) 736-9024