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In 1909, The International Joint Commission (IJC)--made up of three members from Canada and three from the U.S.--was established to address issues of air and water pollution, to regulate water flows, and to investigate the rights, obligations, and interests of either country along their common boundaries. In 1972, the U.S. and Canada signed the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement which in turn established the Great Lakes Water Quality Board and Great Lakes Science Advisory Board--the principal advisory bodies to the IJC. Since then the functions of the IJC have grown to include a major commitment to maintaining and improving the water quality of the Great Lakes.

Many subjects covered in this collection are technical in nature, but the reports are written so that the technical terms are easily understood. These archives and studies cover topics of water quality such as: restoring the Great Lakes ecosystem; contaminated sediments; nutrification and phosphorus management; toxic substances; urban, industrial, and municipal run-off; atmospheric deposition; surveillance and monitoring; and human health effects from toxic substances in the Great Lakes.

The microfiche collection contains over 221 titles which include:


  • annual reports and policy statements of the IJC
  • reports, studies, and special investigations from its sub-units--the Great Lakes Water Quality Board, the Science Advisory Board, the Reference Groups on Upper Lakes Pollution, and the International Reference Groups on Great Lakes Pollution from Land Use Activities (PLUARG)
  • documents from the Great Lakes Regional Office located in Windsor, Ontario
  • special task force and subcommittee reports, workshop, and symposia presentations sponsored by the IJC, product guidelines, and water quality regulations
  • the 1976 Directory of Great Lakes Research and Related Activities

Environmentalists, ecologists, environmental engineers, environmental scientists, and students of international law will value the information in this authoritative collection. It presently contains materials published between 1972 and 1982.

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