The IMA — The Engine for Research & Management Collaboration

We are proud of helping to form the International Multi-Agency Arrangement (IMA). The IMA has erased the borders and barriers to collaboration among agencies of both countries sharing Lake of the Woods. The IMA is an international arrangement for cooperation on research and management, among ten government agencies, indigenous groups and the Foundation. In addition to its own work, it provides technical advice and support to the IJC Watershed Board.  The IMA is the implementation mechanism for both research and management components of a sustainability plan for our lake.  Signatory agencies include:

  • US Environmental Protection Agency
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
  • Ontario Ministry of the Environment & Climate Change
  • Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
  • Lake of the Woods Water Sustainability Foundation
  • Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
  • Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development
  • Koochiching Soil and Water Conservation District,
  • Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians

Others, including members from Grand Council Treaty #3 and First Nation communities have participated over time.

Since inception in 2009, IMA has evolved into a powerhouse for collaborative research and management. It is a key technical resource to the IJC Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed board and to the IJC team working on the Lake of the Woods basin water quality study plans. Key achievements of the IMA include:

  • Inter-agency data sharing and laboratory proficiency comparisons
  • A hydrologic model for the watershed
  • A historical nutrient budget for Lake of the Woods
  • A lake thermal modeling study to assess climatic impacts on algae
  • Studies of phosphorus release from the lake sediments
  • Funding of a critical measurement gauge in international waters
  • Crucial roles in developing the Lake of the Woods Basin Water Quality Plan of Study, providing technical advice to the IJC study team

Currently the IMA is working on a joint project with the IJC watershed board, to develop a basin-wide risk assessment for aquatic invasive species (AIS).