Making an emotional connection with the Great Lakes
The International Joint Commission (IJC) is charged with preventing and resolving disputes between the U.S. and Canada under the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty and pursuing the common good of both countries as an independent and objective advisor to the two governments.
The IJC’s work is often about science, governmental regulations, committees, meetings and recommendations. As a treaty organization answering to both Ottawa and Washington, it’s not surprising that the IJC can sometimes lean toward “government speak.”
Yet the IJC wants to remind everyone why its mission is so important: the protection of the beauty and majesty of the Great Lakes, which provide joy, sustenance, recreation, jobs and drinking water to almost 50 million people.
So, the Commission is inviting people to describe the emotional connection so many of us have with the Great Lakes and why it’s so important for the IJC to help protect that water.
Toward that end, Sally Cole-Misch, public affairs officer with the IJC, says the Commission and the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper have joined together to collect people’s Great Lakes memories on film.
It’s called The Great Lakes Watermark Project.
At the recent Great Lakes Restoration Conference in Buffalo, I checked out some of the film already collected and interviewed IJC’s Sally Cole-Misch about the project.