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GLIN==> IJC commends study on Chicago Waterway System

For  Release: November 12, 2008


IJC commends The Alliance for the Great Lakes for effort to stop
movement of invasive species through the Chicago Waterway System



The International Joint Commission of Canada and the United States (IJC)
commends The Alliance for the Great Lakes for leading an initiative to
eliminate the movement of invasive species between the Great Lakes and
Mississippi River basins through the Chicago Waterway System. The effort
is described in a report entitled Preliminary Feasibility of Ecological
Separation on the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes to Prevent the
Transfer of Aquatic Invasive Species that was released today.


The IJC has noted that invasive species are perhaps the foremost threat
to the ecological integrity of the Great Lakes basin ecosystem. The
impact of invasive species already in the system, from the sea lamprey
to the zebra mussel, serve as harbingers of the economic and
environmental costs to come if this crucial threat is not controlled. 


"We must find a way to stop Asian Carp and other species before they use
the Chicago Sanitary Canal to invade the entire Great Lakes system that
is shared by Canada and the United States," stated Herb Gray, Canadian
Section chair of the International Joint Commission.


The IJC strongly supports the maintenance of the electric fish dispersal
barrier and construction of a second electrical barrier in the Chicago
Sanitary and Ship Canal, but recognizes the limitations of these
measures. While not endorsing any specific long-term strategy, the IJC
is impressed with the creative effort to engage as many stakeholders as
possible and to carefully examine a range of actions to stop the
movement of invasive species between the two watersheds while taking the
economic and social dimensions into account.  


"This science-based, multi-stakeholder process serves as an impressive
model for others to follow," said Irene Brooks, U.S. Section chair of
the International Joint Commission. 


The International Joint Commission prevents and resolves disputes
between the United States of America and Canada under the 1909 Boundary
Waters Treaty and pursues the common good of both countries as an
independent and objective advisor to the two governments. Among its
responsibilities, the IJC assesses progress in the United States and
Canada to restore the chemical, physical and biological integrity to the
Great Lakes under the binational Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.



Frank Bevacqua, 202-736-9024, bevacquaf@washington.ijc.org

Bernard Beckhoff, 613-947-1420, beckhoffb@ottawa.ijc.org