Many Thanks for David Ullrich
David Ullrich, founding Executive Director of the Cities Initiative, will be moving on to new challenges and adventures in July. The staff of the Cities Initiative extends its heartfelt thanks to Dave for his mentorship, guidance, and leadership over the past 14 years. Dave will be available to the Cities Initiative as an advisor in the future and he can be reached at his
Cities Initiative email address
Cities Initiative Holds 14th Annual Meeting & Conference in Montreal
The 130 members of the Cities Initiative were invited to experience Montreal's 375th anniversary during the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative's 14th Annual Meeting and Conference, hosted by Mayor Denis Coderre. This year's theme
Cities and Strategic Partnership
brought together municipalities, indigenous people, various organizations and stakeholders to discuss the importance of partnerships to municipalities, including city-to-city, public-private, intergovernmental, and with indigenous people, to advance protection and restoration of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.
Click here to view the whole summary
of the event and
here to view photos, presentations, and resolutions
Cities Initiative Seeks Deputy Executive Officer
The Cities Initiative has hired
crawfordconnect, a search firm specializing in recruiting leaders for Canada's non-profit sector, to assist in the search for our new Deputy Executive Officer in Toronto. Our search would benefit from your help in two ways:
1. Distribute position among networks
Click here to view the position description
. Please use your networks to let others know about the opportunity. Encourage interested parties to reach out to the search consultant, Michelle Lalonde at (647) 342-0201 or (866) 647-5149 with any questions regarding the position.
2. Contact the Search Consultant with candidate ideas: Contact Michelle Lalonde at (647) 342-0201 or (866) 647-5149 with ideas of fitting people for the position.
2017 State of the Great Lakes Report Released
Pursuant to the
Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement
, Canada and the United States, together with their many partners, established a suite of 9 indicators of ecosystem health, supported by 44 sub-indicators, to assess the state of the Great Lakes. State of the Great Lakes assessments support the identification of current and emerging challenges to Great Lakes water quality and ecosystem health, help Governments evaluate the effectiveness of programs and policies in place to address challenges, and help inform and engage others. The Governments of Canada and the United States recently released the
State of the Great Lakes 2017 Highlights Report
. Overall, the Great Lakes are assessed as Fair and Unchanging. While progress to restore and protect the Great Lakes has been made, including the reduction of toxic chemicals, challenges remain with issues such as invasive species and nutrients.
Thames River Phosphorus Reduction Collaborative Launched
The Thames River Phosphorus Reduction Collaborative, a collaboration administered by the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and funded in part through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative is developing innovative tools, practices and technologies to help farmers and municipalities reduce phosphorus and algal blooms in the southwestern Ontario watershed which feeds into Lake Erie. The project was officially launched at a press conference on June 27, 2017. Click here to read the press release from the launch. Visit the collaborative's website at https://www.thamesriverprc.com/.
Canada Bans Microbeads
As of January 1, 2018, through the Canadian Microbeads in Toiletries regulation, the manufacture and import of personal care products containing microbeads 5 mm or smaller in size will be prohibited in Canada. If the personal care products are also natural health or non-prescription drugs, the prohibition goes into effect on July 1, 2018. As of July 1, 2018, the sale of personal care products containing microbeads will be prohibited unless the personal care product are also natural health or non-prescription drugs, in which case the prohibition begins July 1, 2019. The United States has had federal microbeads legislation since 2015. The US deadline to stop the manufacture of products containing microbeads in July 1, 2017 (July 1, 2018 if the product is also a non-prescription drug), and the deadline to stop the sale of products containing microbeads is July 1, 2018 (July 1, 2019 if the product is also a non-prescription drug). The Cities Initiative has been a driving force on the issue of microbeads and encouraging the federal governments to take action to keep this harmful pollutant out of our waterways. To learn more about our involvement, visit
Bipartisan Bill Introduced on Asian Carp
Great Lakes Taskforce chairs Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Representative Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, along with Representative Bill Huizenga of Michigan, introduced the Stop Asian Carp Now Act on June 21, 2017, along with 38 cosponsors. The Act encourages the release of the Brandon Road Lock and Dam evaluation report, which was unexpectedly delayed by the US Administration before it scheduled release in February 2017. The report examines additional measures that can be taken at Brandon Road Lock and Dam to ensure Asian carp do not enter the Great Lakes system. Action now on Asian carp is critical, particularly as an adult silver carp was recently found beyond an electric barrier, just nine miles from Lake Michigan on the Little Calumet River. To learn more about the bill,
Port of Montreal Opens Cruise Ship Terminal
On June 10, the City of Montreal, the Montreal Port Authority, and the Government of Quebec celebrated the arrival of the MS Maasdam, the first cruise ship to dock at the new cruise terminal. The celebration highlighted the extensive revitalization project of Alexandra Pier, which includes the terminal, the Port Interpretation Centre, a green roof, and a large public square, scheduled to be completed this September. Work began in November 2015 and has been supported by the Quebec Government ($20 million), the City of Montreal ($15 million) and the Montreal Port Authority ($43 million). To learn more, visit
US EPA, US Army Corps of Engineers to Propose Rulemaking to Rescind Waters of the US Rule
The US EPA and US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) have announced the intent to propose rulemaking to rescind the 2015 Waters of the US rule, and then propose new rulemaking to redefine "waters of the United States". These actions are in accordance with
the February 28, 2017 Presidential Executive Order on "Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the 'Waters of the United States' Rule." The February Order states that it is in the national interest to ensure that the Nation's navigable waters are kept free from pollution, while at the same time promoting economic growth, minimizing regulatory uncertainty, and showing due regard for the roles of Congress and the States under the Constitution. There has been a nationwide stay of the Waters of the US rule, issued by the US Court of Appeals 6th District. The Waters of the US rule was an effort to provide clarity on what water bodies fell under federal jurisdiction in the Clean Water Act. To learn more about the Waters of the US Rule, click here
. To learn more about the rulemaking to rescind the rule, visit
Michigan and Pennsylvania Release Draft Strategies on Nutrients
The states of Michigan and Pennsylvania recently released for public comment their draft action plans to stop harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie. The plans, along with plans from other Lake Erie states and the Province of Ontario, will inform a broader strategy as called for under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA). The US and Canada, driven by commitments made by Ohio, Michigan and Ontario, are working to achieve a 40% reduction in phosphorus entering the western basin of Lake Erie. Under the GLWQA, the US and Canada are tasked with releasing Domestic Action Plans by February 2018. Ontario and Ohio have already released their draft strategies for comment. The Cities Initiative continues to monitor and comment as necessary on the draft plans. For more information on Michigan's draft strategy,
; for Pennsylvania's,
UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Additions and Delistings
In mid-June, at the International Coordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere Programme meeting in Paris, 23 new UNESCO sites were added to the World Biosphere Reserve Network, while the United States removed 17 of its 47 sites. UNESCO and the US State Department have stated that the 17 sites voluntarily withdrew from the program, and some are planning to re-enter at a later date. To learn more about the recent additions and delistings,
Line 5 Alternatives Study Released
The Michigan Pipeline Safety Advisory Board released its study of alternatives to Enbridge's Line 5 pipeline at the Straits of Mackinac on Thursday, June 29th. The study covers five potential alternatives to the current use of the pipeline, which was constructed along the lake bed of Lake Michigan in 1953. It also examines the environmental risk the pipeline's continued operation poses, and the possible timelines for every alternative. The report states that the largest risk to pipeline rupture would be an anchor puncturing the pipe, followed by operational error. It does not view corrosion as a significant leak risk. It does not present a definitive suggestion of which alternative would be the best for the Great Lake's health, but it does define the costs and timelines every alternative would take. The report also does not assign as extreme a risk to an oil spill the size of the analysis contemplated by the University of Michigan's similar study, accessible
. However, this report is independent of a full risk analysis report on continued operation of the pipeline,
which was terminated this week
The complete report can be read and accessed
Events and Webinars
ALL HANDS ON DECK!
Join the movement to raise awareness for the Great Lakes with this citizen, grassroots effort, will take place on shorelines in every community around the lakes, on land and in the water. People will link hands on the beach and link boats on the water along the shorelines of the Great Lakes in every state and in Canada.
GLC Green Infrastructure Grants
The Great Lakes Commission's Great Lakes Emerging Champions Mini-Grant Program will provide funding to help small and medium sized communities improve water quality, manage stormwater, and enhance community well-being. Grants of up to $20,000 USD will support green infrastructure implementation in U.S. or Canadian municipalities with fewer than 500,000 people. For more information and to apply, click here.
July 10, 2017
1:00 PM Eastern
Deadline for Applications
July 31, 2017
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 to be determined
(Once the RFA is released, applicants will have 45 days to submit an application)
Chi-Cal Rivers Fund 2017 Opportunity
Grant funding will be awarded to projects that take place within areas of the Chicago and Calumet region in three categories:
Green Stormwater Infrastructure,
Habitat Enhancement, and
Deadline: July 10, 11:00 PM Central Time
Please join the 130 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.