Making Waves
August 7, 2017
In this edition of Making Waves:
Cities Initiative & Compact Council Reach Agreement to Improve Water Diversion Application Process
The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative (Cities Initiative) announced last Wednesday, August 2nd that it is settling its challenge to the Waukesha diversion approval with an agreement to collaborate on improving the review of water diversion applications in the future. The agreement between the Cities Initiative and the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Council (Compact Council) calls for a rigorous review of the Compact Council and Regional Body's process for considering diversions, with extensive stakeholder inv olvement in determining formal rules and revised guidelines for the future. For a copy of the agreement, email

Niagara Falls, NY Puts Wege Award to Use
The City of Niagara Falls, NY and Mayor Paul Dyster were awarded the 2017 Wege Small Cities Sustainability Best Practices Award at the 2017 Annual Meeting in June.  The award recognized the city's efforts, in partnership with the Buffalo-Niagara Riverkeeper, to restore Hyde Park Lake.  Just recently, the City used the $5,000 award to stock the lake with 2,500 channel catfish and work to create a more sustainable sport fish population and ecosystem.

U.S. Great Lakes Budget Update
The US House and Senate continue the process to pass funding bills which outline how much can be spent in each of the 19 broad spending categories.  The House Appropriations Committee passed a bill funding the Department of the Interior and the US EPA for fiscal year 2018.  The bill funds the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at $300 Million and cuts the budgets of US EPA, Fish and Wildlife Services, the National Parks System, and the US Geological Survey.  The Senate Appropriations Committee isn't expected to act on its funding bill for the Department of the Interior and US EPA until after the August recess.  

Brandon Road Lock and Dam Evaluation Report Released
The US Army Corps of Engineers has released the Brandon Road Lock and Dam Evaluation Study today.  Cities Initiative staff will send a note once a full review has been completed.  This report, which was due to be released February 2017 and was delayed by the Administration, explores ways to deal with aquatic invasive species, particularly Asian carp, at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam.  To view the report, visit: 

Menominee River on Most Endangered Rivers List
The Menominee River, a 120-mile long river that forms the border between the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and northeastern Wisconsin, and drains into Green Bay in Lake Michigan, has been listed on American River's Most Endangered Rivers list.  The Superior Watershed Partnership and eight Native American Tribes nominated the river to highlight the threat it faces from a proposed open pit sulfide mine.  To learn more, visit

Trois Rivières Hosts Marine Art Exposition 
The St. Lawrence Economic Development Council (SODES) is hosting a travelling exhibition of artistic marine-sector photos in Trois-Rivi è res at the Hector-Louis Langevin park from July 25 to August 14. This very unique exhibition, developed by SODES and designed by EXMURO arts publics, features photos of marine infrastructures displayed in an art gallery set up inside a shipping container.  To learn more, visit

Floating Garden Installed on the Chicago River
Urban Rivers, a Chicago non-profit organization, has successfully installed a 166 foot floating garden in the Chicago River, on the east side of Goose Island.  The goal of this effort was to create effective and sustainable habitat for native plants and animals, and provide an opportunity for kayakers and pedestrians to connect with the river.  The vision for the floating island was supported by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago and aligns with the Great Rivers Chicago effort.  To learn more, click here

Ohio Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative Releases Report
Ohio Sea Grant, on behalf of The Ohio State University, The University of Toledo and the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE), has released the second-year research progress update for the statewide Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative (HABRI), which seeks solutions for harmful algal blooms in Ohio.  The progress report indicates that communities are already benefitting from the research that is underway.  Specifically, through the research of the more than 30 science teams working on different issues, early warning systems have been established in Maumee and Sandusky bays so that the water treatment plants have a higher-resolution picture of what's coming in from Lake Erie; and HABRI research has provided new answers and practical guidance about producing safe drinking water for cities and towns dealing with algal toxins in their water sources.  To learn more about the HABRI and to read the report (33 MB download), click here

Mother Earth Water Walkers Complete Trek Around Great Lakes
The Mother Earth Water Walkers have completed their annual trek around the Great Lakes to raise awareness for water issues.  The group started in April 2017 in Duluth, MN and made their way to Matane, QC.  Their trek took about 3 months and spurred events and dialogue in many of the communities they walked through.  To learn more about their journey, visit  

EPA Releases Cyanobacterial Bloom Management Tools for Municipalities
US EPA recently released a suite to tools  communities can use to protect public health during harmful algal bloom (HAB) outbreaks caused by cyanobacteria. Public health officials and outdoor water recreational managers can use EPA's online resources to develop a cyanotoxin monitoring program, communicate potential health risks to the public, and address HAB outbreaks.  To view the materials, click here .

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
Waterloo, Ontario
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

Funding Opportunities
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
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.