Making Waves
July 20th, 2016
In this edition of Making Waves:
Mayor Twolan Honored in Huron-Kinloss
The Town of Huron-Kinloss recently honored Mayor Mitch Twolan for his time as Chair of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative in 2015-2016.  Mayor Twolan was presented with a plaque that highlighted some of the events he participated in during his tenure as Chair, namely Great Lakes Days in Washington, DC and the Climate Summit for Local Leaders in Paris, France.  Congratulations again to Mayor Twolan on a successful year and many thanks from the Cities Initiative!

Town of the Blue Mountains is 2016 Wege Award Recipient
The Town of the Blue Mountains was selected as the 2016 recipient of the Wege Small Cities Sustainability Best Practices Award.  The Town won the award for their solar-powered light installations.  The effort began as a means to address safety concerns in a poorly lit parking lot.  The Town installed six mounted, solar-powered LED lights that are motion activated.  The lights conserve energy, will save the Town on maintenance and operations costs over time, and are helping improve safety in poorly lit areas.  Mayor Sandra Cooper of Collingwood recently presented Mayor John McKean with the Award (see photo).  Congratulations Mayor McKean and Town of the Blue Mountains!

Reducing PBDE Fire Retardants in the Great Lakes
The International Joint Commission recently released a report, entitled Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) in the Great Lakes which proposes a strategy for federal, state, and provincial governments to reduce the adverse effects of PBDEs in the environment.  PBDEs were designated as a Chemical of Mutual Concern by the Canadian and US federal governments in May 2016, under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.  PBDEs have been widely used since the 1970s as flame retardants in electronic devices, plastics, mattresses, and carpets.  They are of concern because they are persistent, toxic, and bio accumulative; they are present in all the Great Lakes.  To learn more and participate in the public comment period for the report and recommendations - due by August 5, 2016 - please visit .

Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy
The UN Compact of Mayors and the European Union Covenant of Mayors have recently merged to become the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, which will officially launch on 1/1/17.  The joining of these two forces will create the broadest global coalition committed to climate leadership, building on the commitment of more than 7,100 cities from six continents and 119 countries representing more than 600 million residents, already participating in the EU Covenant of Mayors and the Compact of Mayors.  The creation of a single, global merged initiative to represent the impact of cities in this effort is a historic and powerful response by the world's urban leadership to the climate challenge. More and more cities across the globe are heeding the call to act from fellow local leaders, and their response could not be more urgent as nations begin the work of meeting the Paris climate goals.  To learn more, please visit  

Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway Green Infrastructure Contest
From May 31st to June 2nd 2017, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality will be hosting a conference on green infrastructure focusing on integrated stormwater management in Detroit, Michigan. The conference aims to attract a multidisciplinary audience ranging from engineers, landscape architects, water quality professionals and local government officials among others. Session topics will include green infrastructure technology, economics, multi-jurisdictional and regional scale projects and local government and public works. A visit to green infrastructure projects in Detroit is also planned in the program. Interested presenters are invited to submit a 500 word abstract and presenting author biography by September 16, 2016. For more information click here.

Please join the 123 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.  

If your municipality would like to share news with the Cities Initiative, please email information to Laura Bretheim at