Happy 2018!
The staff of the Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Cities Initiative wishes you all the best for the coming year!
Cities Initiative & Partners Hold Second Annual Parliament Hill Days
At the end of November, the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative held the second annual Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Days in Ottawa along with partnering organizations the Council of the Great Lakes Region, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, Freshwater Future, and Stratégies Saint-Laurent. Over twenty individuals representing municipalities, businesses, environmental NGOs, and fisheries attended and met with over a dozen officials from the Canadian Government, including Members of Parliament, Senators, Ministry officials, and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna. The delegation advocated for an inclusive, stakeholder-led process, called the Collaborative Strategy, to amplify and accelerate actions and investments to protect and restore the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence. For more information, including the proposal for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Collaborative Strategy, please visit https://glslcities.org/initiatives/collaborative/ .  
Members of Congress Offer Support for Collaborative Strategy
Following Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Days, 24 Members of Congress from the United States from the Great Lakes Task Force wrote Minister Catherine McKenna to encourage her consideration of the proposed Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Collaborative Strategy. Inspired by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in the US, the Collaborative Strategy aims to strengthen bi-national efforts for the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence. To read the full letter, visit https://glslcities.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/2018-01-03-Canada-GLRI-Letter.pdf
Cities Initiative Board Holds
Mid-Year Meeting in Toronto
The Board of Directors convened in Toronto, Ontario on December 11 -12, 2017 for the midyear Board of Directors meeting. The two days kicked off with a strategic planning session led by consultant Bina Patel. This strategy session tackled big picture questions around the organization’s purpose and impact. The board’s input from the meeting will be combined with input from staff and sent to the membership for feedback. Day two focused solely on business of the organization, including some in-depth discussions around Asian carp, nutrient pollution, and climate change. We were fortunate to be joined briefly by the new Regional Director of the North Americas for the C40 Cities, David Miller (former mayor of Toronto and founding Cities Initiative director). At the midyear meeting, we recognized former mayor of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield and a founding director of the organization, Denis Lapointe, for his commitment to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence and the organization. We also recognized staff member Simon Belisle for all his hard work for the organization over the last six years, and bid him good luck with his new job at the Great Lakes Protection Fund.    
Cities Initiative Submits Comments on Brandon Road Lock and Dam
The Cities Initiative submitted comments to the US Army Corps of Engineers regarding the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study – Brandon Road Draft Integrated Feasibility Study and Environmental Impact Statement . The Cities Initiative encourages that the Tentatively Selected Plan, the alternative that the US ACE determined reduces the risk of aquatic invasive species transfer to the maximum extent possible while minimizing impacts to waterway uses and users, be implemented immediately. To read our full comments, visit https://glslcities.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/GLSLCI-Brandon-Road-Comments.pdf
IJC Releases First Triennial Assessment
In its First Triennial Assessment of Progress under the 2012 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (Agreement), the International Joint Commission (IJC) calls on Canada and the United States to set specific timelines and targets for making critical improvements to wastewater and drinking water infrastructure, reducing nutrient runoff and eliminating releases of chemicals of mutual concern.  
Mayors Innovation Project Winter 2018 Meeting
The Mayors Innovation Project is a learning network for American mayors. Topics to be discussed at the meeting include: Expanding Access to Voting; Building Immigrant Friendly Cities; Building Equitable Bike Infrastructure; and Fostering Healthy Discourse in Your City.
January 26 – 27, 2018
Washington, DC

GLSLCI Members will receive an exclusive $100 discount. To learn more and register (be sure to use discount code 01262018) visit: http://bit.ly/MIPW18
33rd Annual International Conference
on Urban Waterfront Planning, Development and Culture
For decades, the Waterfront Center has been in the forefront of the struggle to ensure that waterfronts are carefully planned, balancing the need for private investment with the absolute mandate that the public is entitled to full and unfettered access to the water. This conference addresses the challenges waterfronts face in the 21st Century through its two tracks.
January 30, 2018
1:00 – 2:15 PM (ET)

Webinar - Stormwater fees: how to engage the community in stormwater
Webinar on implementing a municipal stormwater fee and how to increase participation in incentive and credit programs, featuring the case study of the Town of Newmarket, Ontario. 
January 30, 2018
1:00 – 2:15 PM (ET)

Wetland Resilience for a Changing World
The Wisconsin Wetlands Association is seeking proposals for oral presentations and posters for its 2018 Wetland Science Conference. The conference aims to examine the many sides of wetland resilience, including how managers can help promote wetland resilience now and in the future and how communities can include wetlands and watersheds in their planning for resilience.  
February 20-22, 2018
Oconomowoc, WI

To submit a presentation proposal, due November 15, 2017, click here .

American Water Resources Association - Wisconsin Section 2018 Annual Meeting
Working Together for Wisconsin's Water: Balancing Industry, the Environment and Public Health.
March 8-9, 2018
Appleton, WI

Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act Financing
WIFIA is a new federal credit program administered by US EPA for eligible water and wastewater infrastructure projects. WIFIA can fund development and implementation activities for projects like: 1). Wastewater conveyance and treatment projects; 2). Drinking water treatment and distribution projects; 3). Enhanced energy efficiency projects at drinking water and wastewater facilities
Deadline: TBD
It is anticipated there will be another round of applications for WIFIA at the end of the year, assuming the federal appropriations are authorized by October. 

To learn more about the program, click here.
Sustain Our Great Lakes
Grant program to benefit fish, wildlife, habitat and water quality in the Great Lakes basin. The program will award grants in 2018 to improve and enhance: 1) stream and riparian habitat; 2) coastal wetland habitat; and 3) water quality in the Great Lakes and its tributaries.
Pre-Proposals Due:
February 13, 2018

For information, click here .
Michigan’s Volunteer River, Stream and Creek Cleanup Program
Grants for Michigan local units of government to help clean Michigan waterways. Local units of government may partner with nonprofit organizations or other volunteer groups to carry out the work. A 25 percent minimum local match is required.
Deadline: Feb. 20, 2018

For more information and the application, click here.
Coastal Water Trails Grant
The Michigan Coastal Management Program is making grant money available for planning and implementing water trail projects along Michigan’s more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes coastline.
Deadline: March 5, 2018

For more information, click here
Please join the 131 Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative members in protecting and restoring the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River by clicking  here  for a membership application. If you are already a member, please encourage your neighboring communities to join, and be sure to renew your membership when you receive your notice. 
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