History of the Great Lakes Consortium
The Consortium has its roots in a taskforce formed in the early 1980’s. Consortium membership is fluid but typically includes representatives from the eight U.S. states bordering the Great Lakes - Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Recently, membership expanded to include the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.
The Consortium originally formed on an ad hoc basis in the early 1980's. As a part of the Great Lakes Toxic Substances Control Agreement of 1986, the group was formally established as the Council of Great Lakes Governors’ Fish Consumption Advisory Task Force. The Task Force was charged by the Council of Great Lakes Governors with developing common fish advisories for important sport fish species that range widely in open waters of the Great Lakes (i.e. Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario). In response, the Task Force developed a method for assessing risks and issuing fish consumption advice so that the advice issued by each state bordering the Great Lakes would be consistent in protecting the health of people who eat fish from the Great Lakes.
Now operating as the Great Lakes Consortium for Fish Consumption Advisories (FCAs), the purpose of the group is to provide the primary forum for collaboration on data and guidance for Great Lakes fish consumption advisories. The Consortium shares and reviews data on fish contaminants, evaluates health risks and benefits of locally caught fish consumption, and shares and coordinates approaches for health education and community engagement.