Commission to hold public meetings on Great Lakes' health
The International Joint Commission is launching a series of roundtables, community conversations and listening sessions this summer and fall to hear the public’s perspectives on how the Great Lakes are faring and what is most important when it comes to their health and vitality.
The first public meeting will be held from 7-9 p.m. on Tuesday, June 18 at the Milwaukee Hilton City Center Hotel, with a focus on the Milwaukee community’s efforts to become a water centric region, the commission said in a news release.
The IJC also will hold a roundtable on Wednesday, June 19 from 1-4:30 p.m. at the same location to discuss broader progress to restore and protect the Great Lakes. Both events are free and open to the public.
In July through October, the IJC will visit several Great Lakes communities to learn about local initiatives and concerns for their part of the lakes. Dates and locations include:
• July 24 in Traverse City, Mich.
• Aug. 6 in Collingwood, Ont.
• Aug. 7 in Goderich, Ont.
• Sept. 24 in Duluth, Minn.
• Sept. 25 in Ashland, Wis.
Additional meetings are scheduled with First Nations, Métis and U.S. Tribes, and with college students at universities in Canada and the United States. All of the meetings are part of the IJC’s responsibilities under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement to assess progress by Canada and the United States to accomplish the Agreement’s goals and objectives for fishable, swimmable and drinkable Great Lakes waters. Topics for discussion may include issues such as persistent toxic substances, aquatic invasive species, excess nutrients that lead to harmful algal blooms, habitat, and climate change.
For meeting details, please go to the IJC’s website.
The IJC was established under the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 to help the United States and Canada prevent and resolve disputes over the use of the waters the two countries share. The IJC’s responsibilities include reporting on progress made under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the Great Lakes and connecting waters.
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