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100th Anniversary of the U.S.-Canada Boundary Waters Treaty

Statement by Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Washington, DC
January 9, 2009

January 11 marks the 100th anniversary of the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909. We note with pride the century of cooperation with Canada in managing water quality, quantity, and environmental health along our 5,525-mile border. The Treaty also established the International Joint Commission, which has played a vital role as an independent steward of these shared resources. Comprised of Commissioners from both countries, the Commission has been an outstanding example of collaborative governance and stewardship, facilitating cooperation, preventing and resolving water-related disputes, and approving and overseeing operation of several major dams and hydropower stations along the border.

Millions of Americans and Canadians depend on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River system for drinking water, trade, jobs, recreation, and more. Through the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and the International Joint Commission, our two nations are working diligently to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Great Lakes Basin ecosystem.

The Boundary Waters Treaty remains vibrant as it enters its second century. Recent International Joint Commission initiatives such as International Watershed Boards provide opportunities for local stakeholders to build networks that can prevent or resolve problems at the community level. The Treaty continues to be a model for managing shared resources and a tribute to the enduring friendship between the United States and Canada.

2009/025



Released on January 9, 2009

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