International Joint Commission


Created in 1909, the International Joint Commission (IJC) assists the United States and Canadian governments in finding solutions to problems their shared waters, especially in relation to water levels and flows. In January and March of 2012, y, the IJC has sought public comments on two new regulation plans, respectively on the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence, and the Upper Great Lakes, for which the Cities Initiative has submitted memorandums.

About the regulation of water levels and flows of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence, the Cities Initiative supports the principles of a global and holistic management that is balanced and environmentally friendly, but also mindful of the potential impact of variations on the well-being of shoreline communities and residents. Therefore, the Cities Initiative recommends, when such control plans are implemented, a transparent and consultative process involving shoreline municipalities as full partners in their integrated management. The Cities Initiative also supports the implementation of compensatory measures for affected communities. 

IJC Lake Erie Ecosystem Priority (LEEP) Report

On August 29th, the International Joint Commission released for public comment the draft report: Lake Erie Ecosystem Priority: Scientific Findings and Policy Recommendations to Reduce Nutrient Loadings and Harmful Algal Blooms. The report examines lake-wide changes related to phosphorous enrichment from both urban and rural sources, compounded by climate change and aquatic invasive species. The public comment period closed on October 5th. It includes recommendations to Canada and the United States on objectives for phosphorus reductions in Lake Erie.

The report was commissioned by the IJC following the record algal bloom on Lake Erie of nearly 2,000 square miles (more than 5000 square kilometers) in 2011. The report sets as a goal ‘the measurable reduction of phosphorous loads and harmful algal blooms’. To address the challenge, dozens of scientists from both countries were brought together to examine scientific, socio-economic and regulatory themes as part of a comprehensive approach. See more at:

The Cities Initiative’s comments can be viewed by clicking here. 


IJC Upper Great Lakes Study (IUGLS)

Comments (Submitted August 31, 2012)



Plan BV7 – New Regulation of Levels and Flows in the Lake Ontario/St.Lawrence System

Comments (Submitted June 15, 2012)