Great Lakes Commission, International Joint Commission and Great Lakes Fishery Commission endorse Invasive Mussel Collaborative
Ann Arbor, Mich. – The Great Lakes Commission, International Joint Commission and Great Lakes Fishery Commission today announced their endorsement of the Invasive Mussel Collaborative (IMC) as the Great Lakes Basin’s go-to forum for identifying priority solutions to the persistent invasive mussels problems facing the Great Lakes. In a joint statement (French version), the three commissions recognize the IMC as the appropriate structure for fostering constructive dialogue, coordinating sound science, and providing information to guide actions that address the negative impacts of invasive mussels across the Great Lakes Basin.
“The Great Lakes Commission is pleased to be a founding member of the Invasive Mussel Collaborative, one of our many efforts to bring the right people together in the best way to tackle the biggest issues facing the Great Lakes,” said John Linc Stine, chair of the Great Lakes Commission and executive director of the Minneapolis-based nonprofit Freshwater. Stine underscored the importance of working together to address the profound impacts invasive mussels are having on the environment and economies of the Great Lakes states and provinces. “We enthusiastically endorse the IMC’s leadership in this role,” he said.
The three commissions call for the IMC to regularly present its progress to the U.S. and Canada under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, which commits both nations to prevent the introduction of aquatic invasive species (AIS), and to control or eradicate existing species.
“Invasive zebra and quagga mussels are recognized as one of the most significant threats to the ecological and economic health of the Great Lakes. The IMC aligns with the IJC’s efforts to collaborate with others and share information that supports a common agenda for invasive mussel control,” said IJC U.S. Chair Jane Corwin.
IJC Canadian Chair Pierre Béland added, “Such coordination with our fellow commissions will provide an essential step to ensure that the widespread, destructive impact of quagga and zebra mussels can be slowed and hopefully brought under control.”
“Invasive mussels, particularly zebra and quagga mussels, have changed the Great Lakes ecology considerably since they first proliferated in the basin starting in the 1980s,” said Jim McKane, chair of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. “Although the situation is now dire, the successful sea lamprey control program should encourage everyone to seek solutions. The Invasive Mussel Collaborative is an excellent forum for keeping the best minds in the basin engaged in this considerable problem.”
The IMC was established in 2015 to share information, identify regional research and management priorities, and advance scientifically sound technologies for invasive mussel control. Founding members include the Great Lakes Commission, U.S. Geological Survey, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. The IMC Strategy to Advance Management of Invasive Zebra and Quagga Mussels, released in 2018, offers a Basin-wide roadmap to advance science and improve invasive mussel control.
The Great Lakes Commission, led by chair John Linc Stine, former commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, is an interstate compact agency established under state and U.S. federal law and dedicated to promoting a strong economy, healthy environment and high quality of life for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region and its residents. The Commission consists of governors’ appointees, state legislators, and agency officials from its eight member states. Associate membership for Ontario and Québec was established through the signing of a “Declaration of Partnership.” The Commission maintains a formal Observer program involving U.S. and Canadian federal agencies, tribal authorities, binational agencies and other regional interests. The Commission office is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Learn more at www.glc.org.