Speaker--Rear Admiral Peter V. Neffenger
MR. UJCZO: Case Western Reserve University School of Law and The University of Western Ontario Faculty of Law have a very privileged relationship with the United States Coast Guard. The Ninth District is located here in Cleveland, Ohio, right down the street. (1) The Ninth District manages all of the Great Lakes. (2) The United States Coast Guard refers legal issues to our law students each spring, and they get to utilize LexisNexis and Westlaw and conduct legal research on behalf of the United States Coast Guard Judge Advocate General. (3)
I was sitting not too long ago with a lawyer from the United States Customs and Border Protection Agency, and he said, "Case Western, you guys have that Coast Guard lab, don't you? We have been funneling questions through the Coast Guard to you for a couple of years, and we are very fond of our relationship."
It is tough to follow the sturgeon, I know, but there is perhaps no better advocate on behalf of the Canada-United States relationship then the United States Coast Guard. It is my high privilege and great pleasure to introduce to you Rear Admiral of the United States Coast Guard Ninth District, Peter Neffenger.
(1) See generally United States Coast Guard, Ninth Coast Guard District Home Page, http://www.useg.mil/d9 (last visited Dec. 20, 2009).
(2) See id.
(3) See generally Case Western Reserve University, Institute for Global Security Law and Policy, bttp://law.case.edu/centers/igslp/(last visited Dec. 20, 2009) (stating the Law School continues to offer the Coast Guard Lab in the curriculum).
MR. NEFFENGER: Well, it is tough to top The Mysteries of the Great Lakes and Dennis Kucinich. You know, I am going to worry about that fish for a long time, and I am not sure where to keep track of what happens to her.
It is a great honor to be here tonight to celebrate what is the centennial of the Boundary Waters Treaty (4) and the International Joint Commission (5) and to have the opportunity to recognize the importance of the treaty and the work of the Commission, especially regarding the Great Lakes. And as a native of the Great Lakes region, it makes me happy to be here to talk about taking care of the Great Lakes.
When Henry King asked me to make a few comments tonight, I said I would be happy to, but would have to check my schedule. He said he already had, and told me I was open. As you all know, he makes compelling arguments for saying yes when he calls. And since you all chose this over the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, he apparently made the same compelling arguments to you. He informed me this was a wiser, better informed, and better choice overall, and I think he was absolutely right. And we are sorry he cannot be here with us tonight.
We are here to honor the Commission and some of its members, so my comments will be brief, but I would like to highlight a few of the reasons we owe our gratitude to the Commission. The Boundary Waters Treaty and the International Joint Commission provide the principles and mechanisms to help resolve disputes and to prevent future ones, primarily those concerning water quantity and water quality along the boundary between Canada and the United States. (6) And, the Commission really works for all of us. The Boundary Waters Treaty requires the Commission give all interested parties a convenient opportunity to be heard on matters under consideration. (7) That is a quote from their charter. (8)
It is often difficult to ensure a respectable public forum on one side of the border let alone trans-boundary. So, this treaty and the commission are a model of effective cooperation in the history of United States-Canada relations; a model that has informed the work and partnerships of countless federal, state, and local agencies and private groups who often have competing interests in the shared boundary regions of our countries. (9) Indeed, without the pioneering history of the Commission and the example they have set...