water quality objectives science workshop in marchScience experts’ workshop in March provided guidance on development of water quality and ecosystem health objectives and alertsLast fall, the IJC began a study to recommend new water quality and aquatic ecosystem health objectives and alert levels for our boundary waters like the Rainy River and Lake of the Woods. Objectives require international agreement (e.g., like the phosphorus objectives agreed to by Canada and the United States for the Great Lakes). Alert levels are trigger levels for the IJC to warn governments of potential problems, for substances or issues where there are no internationally agreed upon objectives.

The study team has reviewed available research, conducted preliminary expert and public consultation workshops and prepared an interim progress report to the IJC watershed board. The report identifies key priority issues for which objectives or alerts should be developed (such as nutrients, invasive species, contaminants, water levels and erosion etc.) and identifies areas of the watershed where they are needed. There will be additional consultation / workshop sessions this summer in Kenora on July 8 at the Clarion Lakeside Inn (2:30 - 4:00 pm and 6:30 - 8:00 pm).

This first phase of the project will be completed by November.  A second Phase will follow next year to develop specific metrics, indicator values or assessment criteria for the objectives or alert needs that will be identified in this year’s first phase.

For further information, contact Kelli Saunders at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.