Towards a Great Lakes Early Warning System


The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (the Agreement) charges the International Joint Commission (IJC), supported by its Great Lakes advisory boards, with several responsibilities including identification of emerging issues facing the Great Lakes. To help fulfil this responsibility the IJC’s Great Lakes Science Advisory Board (SAB) undertook this first phase of Great Lakes Early Warning System (GLEWS) development, focusing primarily on the development of a GLEWS organizational framework. Six different organizational models were examined through an expert workshop, and the project work group identified a preferred organizational framework.

This report and its associated contractor analysis also reviews current knowledge and approaches used by other environmental early warning systems, describes necessary components of a GLEWS, and identifies topic areas of stressors and threats that could be considered through the identified organizational framework. 

A second phase of the project will be advanced by the SAB to develop the analytical techniques and risk management approaches that could be applied through the recommended organizational framework.