Making Waves
October 11, 2017
In this edition of Making Waves:
Cities Initiative Submits Comments on Ohio Draft Domestic Action Plan
As part of the public comment period for the State of Ohio's Draft Domestic Action Plan (DAP) for nutrient management, the Cities Initiative submitted comments and recommendations on the plan. In its public comments submitted on September 25th, the Cities Initiative requested timelines for program implementation and information on funding sources for DAP initiatives. The comments also underscore the importance water infrastructure as part of federal infrastructure investments and planning. To read the complete comments, click here.

State of the Great Lakes 2017 Technical Report Released
The Governments of Canada and the United States are pleased to release the State of the Great Lakes 2017 Technical Report. The supporting information for the overall assessments presented in the State of the Great Lakes 2017 Highlights Report, released in June of this year, is included in this technical document. Both reports can be found at

Mayor Hicks-Hudson Calls for Impairment Designation of Lake Erie's Western Basin
In light of the massive harmful algal bloom plaguing the Western Basin of Lake Erie, Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson announced her support for an impairment designation of Ohio's portion of the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) during a press conference on September 26th. Despite Mayor Hicks-Hudson's announcement, the Toledo City Council has since delayed action on a resolution urging state officials to declare the lake impaired.
In October 2016, the Ohio EPA designated as impaired the shoreline areas of WLEB and areas surrounding the Toledo and Oregon, OH drinking water intakes but has yet to designate the State's portion of Lake Erie's open waters. The Michigan Department of Environment Quality followed suit last November and designated the Michigan waters of WLEB as impaired. Since the US EPA has yet to carry out its duties under the Clean Water Act, a coalition of Great Lakes groups and businesses filed suit in August to put pressing on the Agency to take action on the issue. 

NOAA Coordinator Gives Update on Proposed Lake Michigan Marine Sanctuary
During a recent meeting in Manitowoc, Russ Green, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Regional Coordinator, gave an update on the status of the proposed Lake Michigan Marine Sanctuary. The sanctuary proposal, which spans 1,075 square miles of Lake Michigan and was endorsed by the Cities Initiative during its 2016 Annual Meeting, has faced recent opposition due to concerns over limits to riparian rights, public access, and state sovereignty. Proponents highlighted the possible partnerships and economic benefits of the sanctuary, which could be designated as early as 2018 depending on approval by Wisconsin state officials. However, progress on the proposal has also been delayed by a recent moratorium on designating sanctuaries by the President Trump.

Quebec Municipalities Applaud Abandonment of Energy East Pipeline 
Quebec municipalities applaud the recent announcement on October 5th by TransCanada to abandon its Energy East pipeline project. Both the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM) and the two largest municipal unions in the province, the Union of Municipalities of Quebec (UMQ) and the Fédération québécoise des municipalités (FQM), welcomed this announcement. Mayor Denis Coderre, President of CMM and past Cities Initiative chair, said, "I am satisfied that TransCanada is abandoning this project. Given the low level of social acceptability, that was the right decision to make." The 4,600-kilometer Energy East pipeline project proposed the daily transport of 1.1 million barrels of oil from Alberta's oil sands to Saint John, New Brunswick. The lack of transparency in the public consultation process, a point underscored in Cities Initiative comments on the project, led to a strong opposition from municipalities.

Events and Webinars
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
  2017 State of Lake Michigan and Great Lakes Beach Association Conferences
The 2017 SOLM brings together
lake-specific research, policy development, management, education, and nonprofit organizations to broaden the discussion and provide diverse interaction among stakeholders.  GLBA is a must for beach managers and other stakeholders with an interest in the health of Great Lakes beaches.

November 4 - 7, 2017

Hyatt Regency Green Bay
Green Bay, WI
To register and view the program:

Funding Opportunities
Great Lakes Guardians
Provincial grants of up to $25,000 for local projects to help protect and restore the Great Lakes. 
Application Deadline:
November 10th at 5 PM EST
NOAA Marine Debris Program - Removal
Supports the development and implementation of locally-driven, marine debris prevention, assessment, and removal projects that benefit coastal habitat, waterways, and NOAA trust resources. Projects awarded through this grant competition establish on-the-ground marine debris removal activities, with priority for those targeting derelict fishing gear and other medium- and large-scale debris. Projects should also foster awareness of the effects of marine debris. Typical awards will range from $50,000 to $150,000.

Application Deadline: November 1, 2017
For more information, click here.
Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act Financing (WIFIA)
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

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.