The International Joint Commission, an independent binational organization that prevents and resolves issues facing boundary waters between the U.S. and Canada, is holding a public meeting at The University of Toledo Lake Erie Center this week to gather input about progress to restore and protect the Great Lakes.
The free, public event will take place Thursday, March 23, at 6 p.m. at the UT Lake Erie Center, 6200 Bayshore Road in Oregon.
It is one of six public meetings being held in communities around the Great Lakes throughout March as the commission finalizes its assessment of progress made by the U.S. and Canada to reach goals of the U.S.-Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.
Dr. Christine Mayer, UT professor and aquatic ecologist, serves as a member of the International Joint Commission Great Lakes Science Advisory Board, which studies Great Lakes issues and provides its findings to help the International Joint Commission make recommendations to the governments of the two countries.
“Residents of the Great Lakes region deserve clean water, healthy beaches and fish that are safe to eat,” Mayer said. “I encourage residents of northwest Ohio to attend the International Joint Commission meeting and provide their feedback on progress toward restoration of the Great Lakes. Now is a crucial time for the public to voice their support for sustained restoration of the Great Lakes.”
With more than $12.5 million of active grants underway to address water quality concerns, UT faculty and researchers are taking a multidisciplinary approach to protecting the nation’s Great Lakes from invasive species and providing clean drinking water for generations to come.
“I am delighted that the public meeting for the International Joint Commission will be held at The University of Toledo Lake Erie Center,” said Dr. Tim Fisher, geology professor, chair of the UT Department of Environmental Sciences and interim director of the Lake Erie Center. “The citizens of Oregon and Toledo will not have to travel far to learn about ongoing research on harmful algae blooms, restoration and protection plans for Lake Erie, and the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. But most importantly, the public will have an opportunity to express their suggestions, views and concerns to this binational agency to influence future activity.”
According to the Ohio Environmental Council, Lake Erie supplies drinking water to roughly three million Ohioans, and visitors spend more than $10 billion a year in communities along Lake Erie for tourism, travel and fishing.
“This meeting in Toledo — and all six of the International Joint Commission’s public meetings — is integral to the the commission’s assessment process,” said Lana Pollack, chair of the U.S. section of the International Joint Commission. “We want to hear what people think about the government’s progress report and the International Joint Commission’s draft assessment of progress, and hear their views on how governments should address the Great Lakes water quality issues that residents care about the most.”
The International Joint Commission’s draft report, the Canadian and U.S. government report, as well as details on the upcoming public meetings around the Great Lakes, can be found at http://participateijc.org.
Event registration is online here and will be available at the door as well.