Public meetings to gauge opinions on water quality issues

The International Joint Commission (IJC) has announced it will hold a series of public meetings over the summer to solicit input on policy priorities for managing the Great Lakes, the world’s largest system of freshwater lakes and one of North America’s most important boating markets.

The meetings are part of an ongoing IJC consultation strategy to assess progress by Canada and the United States toward accomplishing water quality goals agreed to in the 2012 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, including targets for reducing pollution, agricultural pesticide runoff and chemical contamination of one of the world’s premier cruising areas. The agreement also touches upon issues related to loss of fish and wildlife habitat and invasive species management.

Six meetings scheduled: June 18/19 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; July 24, Traverse City, Michigan; August 6, Collingwood, Ontario; August 7, Goodrich, Ontario; September 24 in Duluth, Minnesota; and September 25, Ashland, Wisconsin.

The IJC is a bi-national organisation established by the governments of the United States and Canada under the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909. It provides federal regulators with guidance on water quality issues; its recommendations are not binding, although they are usually accepted by both the Canadian and US governments.