Law, College of


Date of this Version

Fall 2003


Published in Natural Resources & Environment (NR&E), Fall 2003, the quarterly magazine published by the Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources of the American Bar Association. Copyright 2003 Mark Squillace & Sandra Zellmer.
The 2001 Annex is available at


In spring 1998, the Nova Group of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, proposed to ship nearly 160 million gallons of Lake Superior water annually via tanker to Asia. See INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION, PROTECTION OF THE WATERS OF THE GREAT LAKES: FINAL REPORT TO THE GOVERNMENTS OF CAVADA AND THE UNITED STATES 44 (2000) (2000 IJC Report). Nova's proposal coincided with declining water levels in the Great Lakes, and the resulting public outcry and pressure from other Great Lakes governments persuaded Ontario to revoke Nova's permit just a few months later. The Nova proposal prompted the eight American states and two Canadian provinces bordering the Great Lakes to revisit the Great Lakes Charter of 1985 and adopt Annex 2001. See Annex to the Great Lakes Charter, June 18, 2001, available at

Annex 2001 commits the Great Lakes governors and premiers to improve their management of Great Lakes water resources through binding agreements. Their self-imposed, three-year deadline for meeting this mandate is June 18, 2004. This article examines the history of water resources management in the Great Lakes Basin and considers the challenges and opportunities presented by Annex 2001.

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