It’s June, and that means the IJC’s five-month series of meetings, roundtables and listening sessions are underway! This month, we’re presenting findings from a Canada-US report on progress under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement at the annual conference of the International Association of Great Lakes Research to get input from scientists, researchers and students.
Join New Commissioners in Milwaukee
During the week of June 17-21, the IJC’s new Commissioners will host two key meetings in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in conjunction with the Great Lakes Public Forum. Look for a progress report to be available soon at binational.net.
At the forum, Canadian and US officials will present a report on progress to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. The forum runs from June 17-19 and is open to everyone with registration.
At the IJC’s Public Roundtable on Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement Progress from 1:30-4 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19 (register here), IJC Commissioners will collect comment on the governments’ progress report and key issues facing the lakes with participants through a series of questions in breakout and plenary conversations.
Some questions to consider: Does the governments’ report accurately reflect the status of water quality in your Great Lakes community? What initiatives is your community undertaking to restore and protect its part of the lakes? What are the most pressing issues facing our Great Lakes, and which are the most crucial to address now? What issues should the IJC focus on, now and over the next 10 years?
The IJC also will host a public meeting from 7-9 p.m. on Tuesday, June 18, at the Milwaukee City Center Hotel to hear from residents about local progress to improve water quality, the status of water quality and efforts to address related issues in their part of the Great Lakes watershed. Come learn about creative approaches to create a sustainable watershed and share your thoughts and ideas with residents and Commissioners. Learn more about the evening’s agenda and register here.
Public Meetings around the Great Lakes
From July-October, IJC Commissioners and staff will visit several Great Lakes communities to hold roundtables and public meetings and listen to residents’ concerns, learn about local progress to improve water quality and actions you’re taking to restore and protect your part of the Great Lakes, and discover what’s most important to each of you when it comes to the health and vitality of the Great Lakes ecosystem. Register today for meetings in Traverse City, Michigan; Collingwood and Goderich, Ontario; Duluth, Minnesota; and Ashland, Wisconsin to talk with the new Commissioners and provide your insights.
Share Your Views
Finally, the IJC welcomes input on the status of water quality in the Great Lakes via email through October 31, 2019. Your views, thoughts and ideas – provided in person at our meetings and written – will all be considered as the IJC prepares its assessment of both countries’ progress to restore the Great Lakes, as they committed to more than 45 years ago, as well as recommendations for further progress.
These consultations give you the chance to help protect the lakes by sharing your thoughts and concerns, as well as learn about actions large and small you can take in your communities to contribute to solutions for issues facing the lakes. We invite you to step in and speak out for the Great Lakes this summer and fall. We hope you’ll join us!
Sally Cole-Misch is the public affairs officer for the IJC’s Great Lakes Regional Office.