Making Waves
September 15th, 2016
In this edition of Making Waves:
Welcome Andrea Paine to the Cities Initiative
Please join us in welcoming Andrea Paine to the staff of the Cities Initiative as the new Administrative Assistant in the Chicago office.  A recent graduate of the University of Michigan's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, Andrea comes to the Cities Initiative will previous Great Lakes-related work experience at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.  We look forward to introducing you all to Andrea over the coming months.  She can be reached at or 312-201-4518. Welcome Andrea!

Waterfront Access Pilot Project Funding in Trois-Rivières
Jean-Denis Girard, MNA for Trois-Rivières, announced on behalf of the Minister of Forestry, Fauna and Parks that the City of Trois-Rivières has been awarded a $50,000 grant to fund the construction of an access ramp to the St. Lawrence River and Lac St. Pierre. MNA Girard explained that this ramp will allow free access to the waterfront for a variety of activities, including fishing and recreational boating. 
Niagara River Wins International Prize
New York's Niagara River Watershed is the recipient of the 2016 Thiess International Riverprize, the world's premier award for sustainable river restoration and management by the International RiverFoundation (IRF).   Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper accepted the award on behalf of the river basin community this past Tuesday at the 19th International Riversymposium in New Delhi, India. Based in Buffalo, the organization has worked for over 26 years to protect and restore the Niagara River watershed. The Riverprize is awarded annually by the IRF and recognizes the world's best efforts in restoring river health. Award winners receive prize money of $150,000 to use for continued river restoration efforts. According to Jill Jedlicka, executive director of Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, the funds will likely be used for Scajaquada Creek, Cayuga Creek, and Niagara River Greenway revitalization projects as well as other Great Lakes-related projects. For more information, click here.

Public Input on Combined Sewer Overflow Public Notification
On September 14th, the Cities Initiative participated to the US EPA listening session on the development of combined sewer overflows (CSO) notification requirements in the Great Lakes region. In order to provide feedback during this session, Cities Initiative members were previously contacted to gain a better understanding of measures already in place, as well as of what kind of requirements would be appropriate.  During the listening session, we underlined the importance of educating the public on CSOs in order to reduce public health risks. We also stated the need to find a balance between the information needs of the general public and reasonable measures to be implemented. As the rulemaking progresses, we will further engage members to gather their input. For more information, click here

Hamilton Conservation Authority's Invasive Species Plan
The Hamilton Conservation Authority has unveiled a new strategy to target land and water invasive species.  The strategy gives priority to environmentally-sensitive areas like the Dundas Valley since it has more at-risk species, but is also creating 50 study plots and tapping into existing monitoring to identify where invasives are located.  The strategy will focus on eliminating invasives in areas where they can do the most damage or spread easily, as a first step.  Best practices for staff, like cleaning vehicles and equipment, will be developed as well to ensure invasives aren't transported from one area to another.  Phragmites is one of the 20 invasives the strategy is targeting.  

Presidential Candidates Invited to Healing Our Waters Conference
The Cities Initiative joined regional business, industry, and conservation leaders in asking presidential contenders Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to attend the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition's annual restoration conference, Sept. 20-22, in Sandusky, Ohio, to explain what they will do to protect and restore the Great Lakes.  The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition and its partners are asking each candidate or their designee to present their Great Lakes agenda in separate 30-minute forums.  The groups are neither opposing nor endorsing the candidates.  The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, Council of Great Lakes Industries, Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition, and Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Cities Initiative earlier this year urged White House contenders to support a Great Lakes platform to protect the region's drinking water, health, economy, and quality of life by funding the federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, supporting national water infrastructure, and committing to combat harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie that have poisoned drinking water, threatened public health, and hurt the economy. To learn more about the Healing Our Waters conference, please visit .  

Maritime Industry Promotional Campaign
The St. Lawrence Development Council (SODES) has a maritime industry promotional campaign underway, entitled  Brought to you by ship - My river, my provider!  The campaign seeks to make the Québec public aware of the important role the maritime industry plays in all of our lives. A website dedicated to promoting maritime transport  was recently launched, as was a signage initiative with new visuals that represent everyday items that many people do not realize are brought to Quebec by ship, such as clothing, sports equipment, drinks and fruit,.   Additionally, a video will run on Télé-Québec (TV network, website and mobile app) for maximum visibility and to reach as many of the campaign's target groups as possible.  The campaign has also used highway billboards in high-traffic areas in Québec City and Montréal, and posters on public transit buses in Québec City, Trois-Rivières, and Saguenay in the past to spread its message.

Events and Webinars

CDP Cities Workshop
Program includes sessions on
green investment opportunities, and tools from the Compact of Mayors for city GHG inventories and climate action and adaptation planning

October 26-27, 2016 
  Las Vegas, NV
Click here for more information and to register.
Great Lakes Restoration Conference 2016
Hosted by the Healing Our Waters Coalition
September 20-22, 2016
Sandusky, Ohio
Click here  to register
Great Lakes Public Forum 2016
Celebrating Our Great Lakes
Presented by U.S. EPA and Environment Canada
October 4-6, 2016
Toronto, Ontario
Click here  to register

Great Lakes Beach Association Conference
Hosted by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, with the Great Lakes Beach Association, City of Marquette, and the Superior Watershed Partnership

October 4-7, 2016
Marquette, MI
Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway Green Infrastructure Conference 
May 31-June 2, 2017
Call for Abstracts
Deadline for Abstracts is 
September 16, 2016.  

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 Melissa Soline at