International Joint Commission Hosts Symposium on the Black River

Contacts: Jennifer Day Windsor, Ontario (519) 257-6733   John Hartig Windsor, Ontario (519) 257-6711   George Espy Seventh Generation (440) 322-4187


International Joint Commission Hosts Symposium on the Black River

"Protecting what's been Gained in the Black River," is the topic of a one-day public symposium hosted by the International Joint Commission (IJC)and the Black River Remedial Action Plan (RAP). The symposium is designed to be an action-oriented public meeting and provides a forum for discussing local watershed management. It is being held Thursday, October 8 at the Spitzer Conference Facility, 301 Broadway Ave., Lorain, Ohio.

The public is invited to attend and the meeting should be of particular interest to decision-makers from all levels of government, private industry, environmental groups, faculty andstudents from surrounding universities, the agricultural community and concerned citizens.

The Black River, like many rivers in the Great Lakes Basin, has been impacted by urban, agricultural and industrial development. In 1985, the IJC's Water Quality Board recognized the river as a site of persistent pollution and designated it one of the 43 "Areas of Concern" in the Great Lakes region. In response, Ohio EPA formed a committee of local public agencies, businesses and citizen groups, known as the Black River RAP, to develop a Remedial Action Plan for the river. The purpose of RAP is to define the actions that are necessary to effectively overcome the current water quality problems in the watershed and to restore the river. This symposium provides an opportunity to discuss the progress that has been made and what it will take to "Protect What's Been Gained in the Black River."

The meeting has a registration fee of $10 and includes refreshments, a continental breakfast, buffet lunch and conference materials.

The International Joint Commission is a binational Canada-United States organization established by The Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 to help the two Governments prevent and resolve disputes over use of waters along the U.S. and Canada Boundary. Under the 1978 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, the Commission assesses progress by the two countries to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the waters of the Great Lakes Basin ecosystem. Additional information about the IJC is available on the Internet at



The Black River RAP and IJC's Great Lakes Water Quality Board
present a symposium on. . .


"Protecting What's Been Gained in the Black River"

- Spitzer Conference Facility -
301 Broadway Avenue
Lorain, Ohio
October 8, 1998



AGENDA 8:00 A.M. Registration and Coffee 8:30 A.M. Welcome and Opening Remarks -     Mayor Joseph Koziura, City of Lorain; Lorain County Commissioner Betty Blair; 
David Ullrich, U.S. Co-Chairman of Great Lakes WQB, Acting Regional Administrator U.S. EPA 8:45 A.M. "Protecting What's Been Gained in the Black River"     Don Schregardus, Ohio EPA, Director 9:00 A.M. - 11:30 A.M. Research Presentations on the Black River:    
  • Fish Communities and Habitat Status in the Black River Watershed
    Presentation by : Mr. Roger Thoma, Ohio EPA
  • Ship Channel Water Quality and Causative Factors
    Presentation by : Mr. Paul Anderson, Ohio EPA
  • Improvement in the Health of the Brown Bullhead (Decreased Tumor Prevelance) 
    Presentation by : Dr. Paul Baumann, USGS and Ohio State University
  • Assessment of Sediment Quality in the Black River Watershed 
    Presentation by : Dr. Allen Burton, Wright State University
  • Understanding the Characteristics and Criteria for the Designation of a Scenic River (1997 Black River Study) 
    Presentation by : Mr. Russ Gibson, Ohio Department of Natural Resources
11:30 A.M. - 1:15 P.M. Lunch and Keynote Speaker     "Citizen Role in River Protection"- Dr. David Orr, Oberlin College 1:20 P.M. - 2:20 P.M. Facilitated Breakout Session I:    
  1. The role of the agricultural community in river protection
  2. The role of the homeowner in river protection
  3. The role of local government officials in river protection
  4. The role of river/riparian land owners in river restoration
2:30 P.M. - 3:30 P.M. Facilitated Breakout Session II:    
  1. (Continued) The role of river/riparian land owners in river restoration
  2. Sustaining public interest in the Remedial Action Plan process
  3. Sustaining environmental monitoring to measure progress
  4. Storm Water Management Issues
3:30 P.M. - 4:30 P.M. Reports from the Breakout Sessions followed by the Closing Comments - IJC Commissioner Alice Chamberlin