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Tribe’s Environmental Resources coordinator named to IJC panel

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AKWESASNE - The International Joint Commission (IJC) Great Lakes Water Quality Board (WQB) has appointed St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Council Environmental Resources Coordinator Matthew Thompson to a two-year term.

Matthew’s professional experience and work completed through the Tribe on the EPA Great Lakes Advisory Board has given him the national recognition necessary to meet the eligibility expectations of this prestigious board. Matthew is eager to serve in both a professional and personal capacity.

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Environment Division director, Ken Jock, proudly shared his recognition of Matthew.“This position is highly selective and very influential in all aspects of water within the entire Great Lakes system including the St. Lawrence River. Matthew has demonstrated his professional and academic excellence within the Environment Division as a representative of the tribe within many interagency and intergovernmental organizations and initiatives. He represents us in meetings on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River areas of concern, our most highly contaminated areas in the system, with USEPA, IJC, NYSDEC, Ontario, Quebec and other governments. I am very proud of his accomplishments and know he will continue to represent SRMT exceptionally.”

The Water Quality Board was established to assist the IJC in responsibilities assigned to it under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. The Board is comprised of an equal number of members from Canada and the United States who will serve at the request of the IJC.

The intent of the Board is to assist the IJC in fulfilling obligations to the 2012 U.S. – Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. The Water Quality Board is the advisor to the IJC in reviewing and assessing progress and implementation of the Agreement. The board identifies emerging issues, recommends and implements strategies for preventing and resolving the complex challenges facing the Great Lakes for their relevant jurisdictions.

Chief Beverly Cook recognized Matthew’s achievement. “Our natural resource preservation is critical. It is incumbent upon our next generation to take a proactive role in decision making on a broad scale to preserve and improve our water quality, from a global perspective. It’s not just a local issue; we applaud Matthew for stepping into this role and we’re honored with him in his selection to the board.”

Thompson holds a Master’s of Science in Chemistry from Florida State University and a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry from St. Lawrence University. In his current position as Environmental Resources coordinator, he is responsible for the implementation, planning and coordination of tribal activities to advance Great Lakes Restoration.

He serves as the SRMT’s representative to the USEPA Great Lakes Advisory Board, the Lake Ontario Lake Wide Management Plan and the St. Lawrence River at Cornwall and Massena AOC.

Thompson said he is determined to use his experience with the ecosystem, his education and his professional network to elevate Akwesasne’s environmental issues to a national platform, while serving impartially on his appointed positions.

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