International Joint Commission launches new Great Lakes – St. Lawrence River Adaptive Management Committee
New Committee to help Boards of Control evaluate regulation of water levels
5 February 2015 – Ottawa, ON/Washington, D.C.
The International Joint Commission (IJC) is pleased to announce the creation of a new Great Lakes – St. Lawrence River Adaptive Management (GLAM) Committee.
The IJC issued a directive to establish the GLAM Committee, in response to requests from the International Lake Superior, Niagara and St. Lawrence River Boards of Control to implement adaptive management practices into the ongoing reviews and evaluations of their respective regulation of water levels and flows.
The overall objective of the GLAM Committee is to provide information to the Boards on the effects that the various 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.
Reporting to the three Boards, the Committee will undertake the monitoring, modeling and assessment necessary for evaluating regulation plans and address other questions that may arise due to changing conditions. While Boards of Control are mandated to review their regulation plans, they do not always have access to the data, information and resources needed for long-term water level management activities.
The Committee will monitor the performance of the plans for regulating outflows from Lake Superior and Lake Ontario on an ongoing basis and how the system may be changing over time to determine if any modifications to the plans may be warranted. The GLAM Committee will undertake specific tasks to review and evaluate regulation plans over time, focusing on mid- to long-term assessments, rather than within-year decisions.
The new GLAM Committee consists of an equal number of Canadian and American technical experts familiar with the evaluation of regulation plans and includes members from the Great Lakes Water Quality Board to better link the regulation of water levels and flows with water quality considerations.
The IJC is pleased to announce that seven appointments from each country have been made, including the co-chairs. Wendy Leger from Environment Canada has been appointed the Canadian co-chair, while Kyle McCune from the US Army Corps of Engineers was named U.S. co-chair. One appointment from each country is forthcoming, for a total of 16 members.
The GLAM Committee’s first order of business will be to work with the three Great Lakes – St. Lawrence River Boards of Control to develop its work plan, as well as an outreach and stakeholder engagement strategy.
The International Joint Commission was established under the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 to help the United States and Canada prevent and resolve disputes of the use of the waters the two countries share. Under the Treaty, the IJC is responsible for regulating shared water uses, investigating trans-boundary issues and recommending solutions to both governments.
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