The IJC, or International Joint Commission, is an organization that was founded in 1909 when the Boundary Waters Treaty was signed by the US and Canada. This commission works to resolve and prevent disagreements between the two countries while acting as an independent and objective advisor to the governments.
In 1972, Canada and USA came together to create the Great Lakes Quality Agreement. It was most recently updated in 2012. The agreement outlines actions that both countries can take to work against and prevent ecological harm. It addresses aquatic invasive species, habitat degradation and the effects of climate change, and supports continued work on existing threats to people’s health and the environment in the Great Lakes Basin such as harmful algae, toxic chemicals, and discharges from vessels.
The IJC has created an online platform for citizens to participate in the assessment of this agreement! In other words- how are both countries doing in making progress on these issues according to you? The platform shares reports, assessments, research and other tools to help you learn about the work that’s happening in both countries and asks for contributions to discussion boards organized monthly by topic where you can share your experiences, and learn about the experiences of others. The site also encourages you to submit topics for further discussion and outlines other ways to participate in future programming.