International Joint Commission October 1, 2005 YOUR CHANCE TO SPEAK OUT FOR PRECAUTION IN THE GREAT LAKES The International Joint Commission (IJC) -- the U.S.-Canada government body charged with protecting the waters of the Great Lakes -- is inviting the public to a series of meetings in 14 cities across the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River basin in Canada and the United States in October and November. Participants will be asked to express their views on what needs to be done to protect water quality in their communities and on the future of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement between the two countries. The IJC will report these views to the two governments. First signed in 1972 and last amended nearly 20 years ago, the Water Quality Agreement outlines the commitment of each country to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the waters of the Great Lakes basin ecosystem, including the international portion of the St. Lawrence River. In the Agreement, the two governments commit to virtually eliminate the input of persistent toxic substances. It has also resulted in cooperation between the United States and Canada to limit the discharge of nutrients and toxic substances into the waters, restore degraded areas and undertake other joint activities designed to improve water quality. For those who cannot attend, the IJC will also conduct a Web Dialogue and accept written and oral submissions until November 30, 2005. For more information, call toll-free at 1-866-813-0642 or visit www.ijc.org/glconsultations.