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E-M:/ GLIN:/ IJC's latest Great Lakes evaluation



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Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>
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From: "Day, Jennifer" <DayJ@windsor.ijc.org>
To: "'ijc-announce@listserv.ijc.org'" <ijc-announce@listserv.ijc.org>,
         "'glin-announce@great-lakes.net'" <glin-announce@great-lakes.net>
Subject: GLIN==> IJC reviews progress to restore Great Lakes Areas of Concern
Date: Thu, 1 May 2003 09:37:56 -0400
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International Joint Commission

United States and Canada



MEDIA RELEASE

May 1, 2003

IJC reviews progress to restore Great Lakes Areas of Concern

In a Special Report released today, the International Joint Commission 
(IJC) provides the most

comprehensive review in almost a decade of the work to restore Areas of 
Concern in the Great Lakes. The IJC found that the United States and Canada 
have invested a significant amount of time and money in projects to restore 
the viability and environment of these areas and that two of 43 areas are 
considered restored.

In the report, the IJC makes nine recommendations to improve the management 
of restoration efforts, which if implemented, will assist the governments 
in taking a more comprehensive and strategic approach to restoration.

Recommendations include:

·       defining restoration targets where they do not exist;
·       developing maps specifying AOC boundaries;
·       ensuring accountability and responsibility for restoration;
·       securing needed resources; and
·       monitoring recovery.

To fill critical information gaps regarding restoration efforts, the IJC 
recommends that the two federal governments:

·       document their investment and achievements;
·       report formally every two years on the recovery of ecosystem 
health; and
·       ensure that monitoring, data support and information management 
systems are in place.

"Fully restoring the Great Lakes Areas of Concern will require major 
commitments of time and resources in both countries. If we are serious 
about getting the job done, a commitment on the part of the governments to 
address the key challenges is essential," said the Right Honourable Herb 
Gray, chair of the IJC's Canadian Section.

The IJC commends the two governments for their considerable investment in 
restoration projects, noting that the United States reports spending more 
than $3.5 billion (USD) on wastewater treatment and sediment remediation 
and Canada reports spending more than $300 million (CAD). However, the job 
is not finished and much of the needed information on actions taken to 
restore beneficial uses and activities planned for the future is either 
unavailable or incomplete.

"I am encouraged by the strong commitment of both the United States and 
Canada to Great Lakes restoration," said Dennis Schornack, chair of the 
IJC's U.S. Section. "In particular, the Great Lakes Legacy Act represents a 
$250 million, five-year strategy to clean up sediment, and I commend 
President Bush and Congress for their leadership."

Since 1987, 43 Areas of Concern were designated because they contained 
contaminated sediment, inadequately treated wastewater, nonpoint source 
pollution, inland contaminated sites or degraded habitat, to a greater 
degree than the rest of the Great Lakes. Two locations, Collingwood Harbour 
and Severn Sound, both in Ontario, have since been considered cleaned up 
and removed from the list of Areas of Concern. One area in the United 
States, Presque Isle Bay in Pennsylvania, and one area in Canada, Spanish 
Harbour in Ontario, have been recognized as being in a stage of recovery.

The IJC's special report is available on the CD of its Eleventh Biennial 
Report and on the Internet, with clickable maps that allow users to access 
specific information about each Area of Concern. In addition, the 
Commission has invited both governments to cooperate in making the report a 
"living document" on the web that is continuously updated with the latest 
information.

The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement calls on the IJC to assess the 
efforts of the governments of the United States and Canada in restoring the 
chemical, physical and biological integrity of the waters of the Great 
Lakes basin ecosystem. The agreement also charges the IJC with assisting 
the governments in the restoration process.

More information and the clickable map of Areas of Concern is available at 
<http://WWW.IJC.ORG>WWW.IJC.ORG.

Contact:

Frank Bevacqua          Washington              (202) 736-9024

Fabien Lengellé         Ottawa                 (613) 995-0088

Jennifer Day                   Windsor         (519) 257-6733


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