International Joint Commission  Hosts Public Meetings in St. Catharines/Niagara and Buffalo, New York on Great Lakes Water Quality

Speak Up for the Great Lakes you Love

A Call-Out from the Canada-U.S. International Joint Commission

Posted March 27th, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Residents of the Buffalo and Niagara region are invited to share their views about the Great Lakes at public meetings hosted by the Canada-U.S. International Joint Commission (IJC).

Lake Erie at bottom and Lake Ontario at top, with the Niagara River in right half of photo in between. Image shot from Earth’s orbit

On March 28th, 2017, a public roundtable on topics specific to Buffalo will be held from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. at the WNED/WBFO studios at 140 Lower Terrace in downtown Buffalo, NY.

A general public meeting will be held at the same location from 6 – 9 p.m. 

On Wednesday, March 29,  the public is invited to a roundtable discussion from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. at the St. Catharines Rowing Club at Alumni Hall on Henley Island Drive in St. Catharines, Ontario.

Canada and the United States released their progress report last fall on accomplishing the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement’s goals, and the International Joint Commission released their draft assessment report on January 18.

Before it finalizes that report, the IJC is holding six public meetings in Great Lakes communities throughout the month of March to hear residents’ reaction to both reports and how they feel the Great Lakes are faring. The public meeting on March 28th in Buffalo is the fifth of the six IJC public meetings.  

“These meetings in Buffalo and St. Catharines — and all six of the IJC’s public meetings — are integral to the IJC’s assessment process,” said United States Chair Lana Pollack.

“We want to hear what people think about the government’s Progress Report and IJC’s draft assessment of progress, and their views on how governments should address the Great Lakes water quality issues that residents care about the most.”

“People care about the Great Lakes and depend on them for business, for leisure and more. Now is the time to provide your comments, recommend actions governments should take to preserve and protect the Great Lakes in the next three years and beyond,” said Canadian Chair Gordon Walker.

“The IJC’s responsibility under the Agreement is to hear the public comment and relay that to the governments. We need the public to speak up; we’re listening.”

Public Meeting on the Great Lakes – Your Voice: Buffalo The afternoon discussion will include presentations by eight local and regional experts on topics specific to the Buffalo Niagara region, including emerging contaminants and their effects on fish and wildlife, the future of Buffalo River and the waterfront’s restoration, wetland habitat, and multiple approaches to eliminate contaminated runoff.   

The Buffalo evening public meeting will begin with a welcome from IJC US Section Chair Lana Pollack and  three presentations about regional issues:

  • •  The Buffalo River Areas of Concern and Remedial Action Plan, by Buffalo-Niagara Riverkeeper
  • •  Niagara River Corridor Ramsar Site, a Wetland of International Significance, by Jajean Rose-Burney, Western New York Land Conservancy
  • •  Making the Great Lakes the Place to Be for Outdoor Recreation, Krystyn Tully, Swim Drink Fish Canada Public comment to the IJC will follow these presentations.

Event registration is online at: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/public-meeting-on-the-great-lakes-your-voice-buffalo-tickets-31721411596, and will be available at the door as well.

Public Meeting on the Great Lakes – Your Voice: St. Catharines The afternoon roundtable discussion will include four presentations by local experts on sustainable agriculture and the Niagara River Area of Concern, a discussion period, and a public comment session.

Event registration is available online athttps://www.eventbrite.ca/e/public-meeting-on-the-great-lakes-your-voice-st-catharines-tickets-31723017399, and will be available at the door as well.

The IJC’s draft report, the Canadian and US governments report, as well as details on the upcoming public meetings around the Great Lakes, can be found at: http://participateijc.org.

The IJC was established under the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 to help the United States and Canada prevent and resolve disputes over the use of the waters the two countries share.

The IJC’s responsibilities include reporting on progress made under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement between the nations toward restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the Great Lakes and connecting waters.

For more information:

Your Voice: Niagara Region   ST. CATHARINES, ON – March 13, 2017 – The International Joint Commission wants to hear your views about how the Great Lakes are faring, and what actions Canada and the United States should take to restore and protect them.

Now’s the time to speak up for the lakes you love.   The meeting will offer brief presentations from:

  • Paul General, Six Nations – First Nations’ Perspective on Great Lakes Water Quality
  • Bill Redelmeier, Southbrook Vineyards – Sustainable Vineyards
  • Dr. Mike Duncan, Niagara College
  • Patrick Robson, Niagara Area of Concern

The panel discussion will be moderated by Tikvah Mindorff, Executive Director of Niagara Sustainability Initiative. Comments will be received during the roundtable discussions that follow the presentations.

NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space below the Bernie quote.

A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who also share their first and last names.

For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater binational Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at www.niagaraatlarge.com .

 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

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