US Army Corps of Engineers
Great Lakes and Ohio River Division

Great Lakes

Goal: Management of the Great Lakes water in a sustainable manner that balances the needs for competing interests; Treaty compliance.

IJC boundaries


The Great Lakes and Ohio River Division (LRD) supports three LRD Districts (Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo) and the International Joint Commission (IJC) through:

  • The LRD Commander serves as the US Chair for the Lake Superior, Niagara, and St. Lawrence River Boards of Control as well as the Niagara Committee. LRD Water Management staff members serve as the US Secretary for the same boards and committees.
  • LRD staff has key leadership roles and participates in special studies at the request of the IJC. Currently these studies include the International Upper Great Lakes Adaptive Management Task Team and the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River Working Group.
  • LRD staff provides program and technical support to the three Great Lakes Districts in the form of Community of Practice development and joint information management and messaging to stakeholders.

International Joint Commission

The Great Lakes Basin has 14,000 miles of shoreline and contains 95,000 square miles of water and covers 200,000 square miles of land over 8 States & 2 Provinces.

The 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty signed on January 11, 1909, established the legal foundation and guiding principles for the U.S. and Canada to prevent and, if needed, resolve disputes related to shared water resources.

The Boundary Waters Treaty established the IJC to assist the governments in implementing the terms of the Treaty and in finding solutions to problems in these waters.

The boundary waters are used for many purposes, including potable and industrial water supply, receiving treated wastewater, hydroelectric power generation, irrigation of agricultural lands, recreational and commercial navigation. In some cases, the IJC is empowered to authorize a particular use of the waters, while protecting competing interests in accordance with rules set out in the Treaty.

The IJC has six Commissioners, three appointed by the President with the advice and approval of the Senate, and three appointed by the Governor in Council of Canada, on the advice of the Prime Minister. Each Commissioner must act impartially, in reviewing problems and deciding on issues, rather than representing the views of their respective governments.


Brigadier General
R. Mark Toy
US Chair of the IJC
Boards of Control

Lake Superior Board Niagara Committee
Lake Superior Board Niagara Committee
>Niagara Board St. Lawrence Board
Niagara Board St. Lawrence Board


NOTICE: All data contained herein is preliminary in nature and therefore subject to change. The data is for general information purposes ONLY and SHALL NOT be used in technical applications such as, but not limited to, studies or designs. All critical data should be obtained from and verified by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Great Lakes and Ohio River Division, Water Management Team, 550 Main Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202. The United States of America assumes no liability for the completeness or accuracy of the data contained herein and any use of such data inconsistent with this disclaimer shall be solely at the risk of the user.

The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) of the linked websites, or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) sites, USACE does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. All links provided are consistent with the mission of this website.