International Joint Commission (IJC)
More than a century of cooperation protecting shared waters

Annex 2 - Lakewide Management

A. Purpose

The purpose of this Annex is to contribute to the achievement of the General and Specific Objectives of this Agreement by assessing the status of each Great Lake, and by addressing environmental stressors that adversely affect the Waters of the Great Lakes which are best addressed on a lakewide scale through an ecosystem approach.

B. Programs and Other Measures

The Parties, in cooperation and consultation with State and Provincial Governments, Tribal Governments, First Nations, Métis, Municipal Governments, watershed management agencies, other local public agencies, and the Public, shall undertake the following lakewide management actions:

  1. establish Lake Ecosystem Objectives as a benchmark against which to assess status and trends in water quality and lake ecosystem health;
     
  2. assemble, assess and report on existing scientific information concerning the state of the waters of each Great Lake including current and future potential threats to water quality;
     
  3. identify research, monitoring and other science priorities for the assessment of current and future potential threats to water quality, and for the identification of priorities to support management actions;
     
  4. conduct surveys, inventories, studies and outreach activities as required to support the above assessments;
     
  5. identify the need for further action by governments and the Public to address priority threats to water quality and the achievement of Lake Ecosystem Objectives;
     
  6. develop and implement lake specific binational strategies to address Substance Objectives, such as nutrient objectives developed pursuant to Annex 4, and any other current and future potential threats to water quality that are judged to be best addressed on a lake by lake basis; and
     
  7. develop, within three years of entry into force of this Agreement, an integrated nearshore framework to be implemented collaboratively through the lakewide management process for each Great Lake. The nearshore framework shall:

a) provide an overall assessment of the state of the nearshore Waters of the Great Lakes;
b) identify nearshore areas that are or may become subject to high stress due to individual or      
     cumulative impact on the chemical, physical or biological integrity of those areas;
c) identify areas within the nearshore which, due to their nature, are of high ecological value;
d) determine factors and cumulative effects that are causing stress or that are threatening areas of
      high ecological value;
e) establish priorities for nearshore prevention, restoration and protection measures based on
      consideration of nearshore and whole-lake factors;
f) identify and engage appropriate agencies and entities that are developing and implementing
     prevention, restoration and protection strategies;
g) include consideration of non-point source runoff, shoreline hardening, climate change impacts,
     habitat loss, invasive species, dredging and contaminated sediment issues, bacterial
     contamination, contaminated groundwater, and other factors where they are identified as a source
     of stress to the nearshore environment;
h) take into account the impact on human health and the environment;
i) include monitoring of the nearshore to support this framework, which shall be conducted on a
     frequency to be determined by the Parties, to assess changes in the nearshore over time; and
j) be regularly assessed and revised as appropriate.

C. Lakewide Action and Management Plans

The Parties shall document and coordinate these management actions through the development of Lakewide Action and Management Plans (LAMP) for each Great Lake as follows:

  • Lake Superior;
  • Lake Huron, and the St. Marys River;
  • Lake Erie, and the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, and the Detroit River;
  • Lake Ontario, and the Niagara River and the St. Lawrence River to the international boundary; and
  • Lake Michigan, for which the Government of the United States shall have sole responsibility.

The Parties shall issue a LAMP for each Great Lake every five years. When the LAMP is issued, the Parties shall provide a copy to the Commission for advice and recommendations.

The Parties shall provide brief annual updates to the Public on each LAMP.

D. Reporting

The Parties shall report on progress toward implementation of this Annex every three years through the Progress Report of the Parties.