Draft US Domestic Action Plan on Nutrients Released
The US EPA recently released for public comment its draft domestic action plan to address nutrients. The US Domestic Action plan (DAP), as called for under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, aims to coordinate federal and state activities within the Lake Erie basin to achieve a 40% reduction in phosphorus entering the lake. Canada is working on finalizing its Canada-Ontario DAP. The plans are required to be completed by February 2018. The Cities Initiative will review the US DAP and provide comments during the comment period. To see the action plan, visit
Cities Initiative Issues Comments on Proposed Chalk River Lab Waste Management Facility
The mayors of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative issued
comments today regarding the proposed Chalk River Laboratory Waste Management Facility. The proposed facility would store low-level radioactive waste and would be located approximately 0.6 miles from the Ottawa River, a major tributary to the St. Lawrence River. In its written comments, the Cities Initiative calls for caution, primarily for the sake of protecting drinking water and public safety. The Cities Initiative addressed concerns around water protection, operational safety, long-term
responsibility and accountability, remediation and financial compensation, and emergency preparedness. A few key points from the comments include the recommendation that Canadian Nuclear Laboratories be held accountable for the entirety of the project through the creation of a long-term operation and maintenance contingency fund.To read the full comments,
Cities Initiative Passes Eight Resolutions at 2017 Annual Meeting
At the 2017 Annual Meeting in Montreal, Quebec, the membership of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative passed eight resolutions on issues affecting the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Region. This year's resolutions include:
- Coal Tar Sealants
- Aging Oil Pipelines and Line 5
- Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Federal Restoration Funding
- Maritime Industry
- Marine Sanctuary
- Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products
- Public Water Services
- UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Designation.
Montreal Port Authority Shore Power Project Completed
With the completion of its shore power project, the
Montreal Port Authority (MPA) recently announced that vessels docking at the Port of Montreal's new cruise terminal can now be powered by electricity. This two-pronged project, which incorporates wintering vessels and cruise ships, is expected to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2,800 tons per year.
The total project cost was $11 million, with the government of Canada contributing up to $5 million under its Shore Power Technology for Ports Program; the government of Quebec contributing $3 million under its program to improve marine, air and rail transportation efficiency to reduce GHG emissions (PETMAF en matière de réduction des émissions de GES); and the MPA contributing $3 million to the project. To learn more, visit
FCM Sustainable Communities Awards Nominations Open
FCM has opened the nomination process for its Sustainable Communities Awards. Canadian communities are eligible to apply. FCM's Sustainable Communities Awards celebrate the most innovative sustainability and environmental initiatives in municipalities of all sizes and in all regions across Canada. Since 2000, FCM's Sustainable Communities Awards have generated national and local recognition for sustainability initiatives that take an integrated approach to development, leading to environmental, economic and social benefits. To learn more about the awards and apply, visit
Public Comment Period Open for Offshore Wind Turbine Project
A public hearing is scheduled at City Hall in Cleveland on November 8, 2017 to get public feedback on a proposed Lake Erie wind turbine project. The demonstration project, which would be constructed and owned by Icebreaker Windpower, Inc.,proposes placing six 3.45 megawatt wind turbines approximately 8 to 10 miles offshore, northeast of Cleveland. Recently, the U.S. Department of Energy, in conjunction with the Army Corps. of Engineers and the Coast Guard
released a preliminary environmental assessment
of the project. To learn more about the project, and to submit comments, visit
. Of note, in 2010, the Cities Initiative Board passed a resolution addressing renewable energy exploration. Specifically, the resolution encourages energy conservation and renewable energy as a means to better conserve our finite natural resources, reduce pollution, maximize domestic energy potential and opportunities, and create jobs within the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River region; and encourages that municipalities have a meaningful role in how renewable energy development moves forward in the region.
Events and Webinars
AquaHacking 2017: United for Lake Erie
International water conference aims to discuss state-of-the-art thinking and research to support the transition towards a Blue Economy, in particular the role of water science and technological innovation in fostering sustainable water use.
September 10-13, 2017
2017 Great Lakes Restoration Conference
Annual Healing Our Waters Great Lakes Restoration Conference, a forum to learn about important Great Lakes restoration issues; network at the largest annual gathering of Great Lakes supporters and activists; and develop strategies to advance federal, regional, and local restoration goals.
October 17-19, 2017
Hyatt Regency - Two Fountain Plaza
Buffalo, New York, USA, 14202
US EPA Request for Applications to address Cladophora
US EPA is expected to release an RFA for Applications for one project to 1) provide in situ observational data for use in 2) the development and application of enhanced Cladophora growth models to support phosphorus targets to be developed for the eastern basin of Lake Erie as well as for Lakes Michigan, Huron and Ontario.
Deadline: September 5, 2017
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
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.