Great Lakes Water Quality Board
* by teleconference
4.0 WQB 2005-2007 Priorities
4.1 Sustainable Cities Multi-board Report
WQB members, as on the earlier draft, still expressed concerns about the insufficient linkage in the report to impacts on Great Lakes water quality from the urban footprint. It is more so an "urban management" document rather than about cities and the Great Lakes.
Mather and Judy Beck (on Gulezian's staff) were represented on the SAB work group that developed the draft report and Ullrich serves on the Report Steering Committee. The question remains, does the WQB want to take on active role at this late stage if still dissatisfied with the draft.
GLRO Director, Vigmostad, was asked to join the WQB discussion on possible next steps. She stated that the WQB should be happy with the report, but will have to get involved to improve it. There was considerable discussion on whether to bring this report to closure "as is" or become involved in revising it. There was recognition that all WQB members are too busy to give the attention to the draft report that it deserves. Consequently, there was interest in the GLRO hiring a technical writer for 2-3 months to address remaining concerns and prepare a new, revised draft.
Action Item: Draft WQB letter to the Commission for WQB review and comment on the "Draft Sustainable Cities Report".
Action Item: Arrange for WQB and SAB Co-Chairs conference call on the "Draft Sustainable Cities Report".
4.2 Land-Water Nutrient Workshop Report
Gannon did brief summary of the WQB's efforts over the past two years on the issue of linking jurisdictional watershed planning, Remedial Action Plans (RAPs) in Areas of Concern, and Lakewide Management Plans (LaMPs). The initial March, 2005 Watershed Approaches Workshop lend to further work jointly with the Lake Erie LaMP Work Group. The most recent effort was the WQB-sponsored Lake Erie Land-Water Nutrients Workshop, March 2007 at the University of Windsor. The purpose was to discuss the research, resource management and policy issues pertinent to implementing the Lake Erie LaMP nutrient objective. Gannon further noted that the workshop report currently available for review and comment relates to Day Three of the workshop (LaMP Implementation). The Days One and Two of the workshop (land and water nutrients) will be forthcoming.
Action Item: Review and provide comments on the workshop report, with emphasis on the recommendations, and return to Gannon by end of July, 2007.
In the ensuing discussion, it was broadly acknowledged that LaMPs are not well connected to RAPs or jurisdictional watershed plans anywhere in the Great Lakes. Moreover, LaMPs are generally not as well funded as AOCs. The intent is to use the WQB work with the Lake Erie LaMP Work Group as a case history in developing WQB advice to the Commission on improving land-water connectivity for all of the LaMPs and the Lake Huron Partnerships Initiative.
Gannon proposed, and the WQB members concurred, that the main WQB 2005-2007 priorities report will be a synthesis of the Watershed Approaches Workshop, the Lake Erie Critical Leaders Dialogue, the Lake Erie AOC Summit and the Lake Erie Land-Water Workshop.
Action Item: Send the four reports to Boughton, Mather and Thompson and commence manuscript writing in consultation with above mentioned WQB members.
5.0 IJC 2007-2009 Priorities
Gannon summarized the briefing note of May 16, 2007 that outlined the nearshore waters framework that was developed by the Co-chairs of the Agreement boards and approved in principle by the Commission at its May Executive Meeting. Joel Weiner passed out further advice, "Directive on Priorities Cycle for 2007-2009", dated June 6, 2007 and just approved by the Commission:
Action Item: Solicit priority work plan from WQB members.
Action Item: Co-Chairs to participate in Agreement boards Co-Chairs' teleconference before end of June on submitted priority work plan ideas.
9.0 Joint WQB-SAB Meeting
The topic for discussion for the joint meeting was the 2007-2009 priorities. It was noted that the SAB meeting focused on the SAB 05-07 report and did not address the 07-09 priorities. The WQB discussed the 07-09 priorities but need more time to integrate thoughts and ideas as no consensus was reached so it is timely to meet jointly at the outset of the planning process. Concern was expressed on the need for considerable dialogue in order to meet the Commission's deadline for work plans and budgets of August 28, 2007 for approval at the IJC September 10, 2007 Executive Meeting.
Nuisance algal growths is one of the few explicit issues pertaining directly to the nearshore, and this objective is not being met. Moreover, the current Agreement is not structured correctly to address the nearshore from science or governance perspectives. There was general agreement that this is an important issue that needs to be raised during the ongoing governments' review of the Agreement. The question remained as to timing. It was noted that the issuance of the Agreement Review Committee's final report in October may coincide with the IJC fall semi-annual meeting and an opportunity for dialogue on this issue between the Commission and Governments. It was thought that a decision to open the Agreement for possible revisions might be made at the earliest by the end of this calendar year. Consequently, it was decided that it was important for the IJC to write a letter to governments prior to the end of the 60-day public comment period for review of the draft Agreement Review Committee Report. This letter should be a "placeholder" with notification that the Commission, with advice from its boards, will provide more substantive information on the Agreement and the nearshore in October, 2007.
Action Item: Draft letter for IJC to governments on the Agreement and the nearshore for boards to review and comment.