To learn more about the relationship between the International Joint Commission (IJC), International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board (ILOSLRB), the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Adaptive Management Committee (GLAM) and the GLAM's Public Advisory Group (PAG) please refer to the roles and responsibilities graph here.
International Joint Commission
Canada and the United States created the International Joint Commission (IJC) because they recognized that each country is affected by the other's actions in lake and river systems along the border. The two countries cooperate to manage these waters and to protect them for the benefit of today's citizens and future generations.
The IJC is guided by the Boundary Waters Treaty, signed by Canada and the United States in 1909. The treaty provides general principles, rather than detailed prescriptions, for preventing and resolving disputes over waters shared between the two countries and for settling other transboundary issues. The specific application of these principles is decided on a case-by-case basis.
The IJC has two main responsibilities: approving projects that affect water levels and flows across the boundary and investigating transboundary issues and recommending solutions. The IJC's recommendations and decisions take into account the needs of a wide range of water uses, including drinking water, commercial shipping, hydroelectric power generation, agriculture, ecosystem health, industry, fishing, recreational boating and shoreline property.
International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board
The International Lake Ontario - Saint Lawrence River Board (ILOSLRB) was established by the International Joint Commission (IJC) in its 2016 Order of Approval. The Board's main duty is to ensure that outflows from Lake Ontario meet the requirements of the IJC's Order implementing Plan 2014. The Board also communicates with the public about water levels and flow regulation and works with the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence River Adaptive Management (GLAM) Committee which monitors the performance of the regulation plans in the Great Lakes.
Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Adaptive Management Committee
The overall objective of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Adaptive Management (GLAM) Committee is to provide information to the Boards regarding the effects that the structures approved in the Commission’s Orders of Approval and Directives have on levels and flows in boundary waters and the impacts these have on the affected interests. This includes the ongoing review and evaluation of regulation plans related to (a) the effectiveness of the existing regulation plans in managing water levels and flows in the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River system and the outflows of Lake Superior; (b) examining how the system may be changing over time and whether any modifications to the regulation plan may be warranted to address what is learned over time including emerging issues and/or to address changing conditions; and (c) any other questions requested by the Boards and/or IJC that may affect the Boards’ water management decisions over the long term. This GLAM Committee will undertake specific tasks to review and evaluate the regulation plans over time, focusing on mid-term to long term assessments and not within-year decisions.
Public Advisory Group
The IJC appointed a Public Advisory Group (PAG) based on nominations from the GLAM Committee. Members are leaders from shoreline associations, boating and tourism groups, environmental organizations, local governments, commercial navigation, First Nations and hydropower.
The PAG has been working to help the GLAM Committee seek potential improvements to regulation by contributing knowledge about water level impacts and input on the assessment methods. PAG members have also been asked to help foster a two-way dialogue between the GLAM Committee and affected interests and constituencies. In addition to the work being done by the PAG, the GLAM Committee is also seeking broader public comment on the Expedited Review.
The IJC and ILOSLRB are committed to listening to the concerns and needs of all stakeholders in seeking potential improvements to Plan 2014. The IJC hopes that the expedited review will help reduce the risk of coastal impacts but recognizes that no plan can prevent flooding when extremely wet conditions occur. Another hope is that the process will increase public understanding about the impacts of weather conditions, water supply, and human influences on water levels, including the limits of any regulation plan.
GLAM's Public Advisory Group Stakeholder Report
Phase 1 PAG members and Terms of Reference