Making Waves
March 17, 2017
In this edition of Making Waves:
Panel Topics Announced for 2017 Annual Meeting!
Join us for the 2017 Annual Member Meeting and Conference this June 14 - 16, 2017 in Montreal, Quebec to explore how strategic partnerships advance Great Lakes and St. Lawrence protection and restoration, and benefit municipalities.  Panel topics include Indigenous-municipal partnerships to advance water management, city to city partnerships to encourage municipal leadership, public private partnerships that succeed, intergovernmental collaboration to protect water resources, and strategic partnerships to advance action on climate change.  Register now while the early bird rates are still available!  Visit .

Cities Initiative Delegation Attends Great Lakes Days in Washington DC
The Cities Initiative and its members participated in force at the 2017 Great Lakes Days in Washington D.C., March 13-15, 2017.  This annual event is an opportunity for the Great Lakes region to inform federal government representatives and agency heads of the region's priorities.  Cities Initiative members in attendance this year included Mayor John Dickert of Racine, WI and Mayor Chantal Rouleau of Montreal, QC. Cities Initiative staff - David Ullrich,  Nicola Crawhall and Simon Belisle - participated as well. 
The Cities Initiative delegation met with:
- Minister Catherine McKenna (left)
- Senator Tammy Baldwin (above)
- Congressman Dan Kildee
- Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi
- Congressman Paul Ryan staffer
- Congressman Brian Higgins staffer
- Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky staffer
- Congresswoman Robin Kelly staffer
Priorities that the group emphasized in their meetings included: funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative; the need to act on aquatic invasive species, especially Asian carp in the Chicago Area Waterway System; taking action to reduce nutrients entering our lakes and waterways; the growing water infrastructure investment gap in the region; and increased Great Lakes-St. Lawrence collaboration between the U.S. and Canada.

White House Releases 2018 Budget, Great Lakes Funds Eliminated
Yesterday the Trump Administration released its 2018 budget which eliminates the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). GLRI has been integral over the last eight years in helping clean up toxic hotspots, better manage polluted storm water runoff, addressing invasive species, and protecting habitats and wildlife. The elimination of GLRI is part of a larger effort by the Trump Administration to scale back Environmental Protection Agency funding by 31.4 percent. Members of the Cities Initiative spoke out on the cuts, including Mayor Denis Coderre of Montreal, Mayor Paul Dyster of Niagara Falls, and Mayor Sandra Cooper of Collingwood. To read the entire Cities Initiative statement click here.

Mayor Emanuel Hosts Global Mayors Forum
On Monday, March 13, 2017, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, along with Mayor Anne Hidalgo of Paris, hosted 19 mayors from around the world in Chicago for the Urban Waterways Forum.  In addition to Mayor Emanuel, the other Cities Initiative mayor in attendance was Mayor Denis Coderre, Chair of the Cities Initiative.  Dave Ullrich participated as well.  The forum featured two key discussions regarding urban waterways.  The first focused on innovative ways cities are approaching economic development, especially with respect to their waterways and the role of social equity.  The second discussion explored how cities can use their waterways to advance environmental efforts.  The goal of the Forum was to provide the mayors an opportunity to exchange ideas on mixed-use waterfront development that generates economic, environmental and social benefits for municipalities and their citizens.

Nestlé Water Withdrawal in Michigan - Comment Period Extended
Nestlé Waters North America is applying to increase groundwater withdrawal under section 17 of the Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act.  Nestle is requesting that water withdrawal from the production well PW-101 at the White Pine Springs site in Osceola County be increased from 150 gallons per minute to 400 gallons per minute.  The well is located at the headwaters of the Chippewa and Twin Creeks, two coldwater trout stream tributaries of the Muskegon River.  The public comment period for the Nestlé application has been extended until April 21, 2017.  The Cities Initiative is considering what if any position the organization will take.  To read Nestle's application, visit,4669,7-192-47796-397793--,00.htm  

Events & Webinars
Americana 2017
Environmental forum and international trade show for the exchange of knowledge and practical experience
March 21-23, 2017
Montreal, Quebec
To learn more and register:
Webinar: Public-Private Partnerships, Green Infrastructure, and Private Delivery/Financing
Join the Cities Initiative as it hosts ECT and Corvias Solutions to provide insight from a recently released report about P3s and large-scale green infrastructure in the Great Lakes basin.

Thursday, March 23, 2017
11:00am Central - noon Central/Noon Eastern - 1:00pm Eastern
Click here to register.

Great Lakes Economic Forum
Network with business, government, and NGO leaders to shape economic, environmental and social policy and boost the region's competitive edge.
April 24 - 26, 2017
To learn more and register:
National Adaptation Forum
Forum for adaptation practitioners to share strategies, lessons, tools, and information through formal trainings, facilitated practitioner presentations, and informal exchange of information.

May 9-11, 2017
Saint Paul, Minnesota
To learn more and register here.
Untrouble the Waters: Freshwater Lab Summit 2017
A summit dedicated to bringing mayors, local leaders, and researchers together to envision and launch projects that benefit communities and watersheds alike.

May 10-11, 2017
University of Illinois - Chicago
Click here for more information.

Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Green Infrastructure Conference
Conference focused on using green infrastructure across the landscape with a primary goal to protect the surface waters in the Great Lakes region.
May 31 - June 2, 2017
Detroit, MI
Registration is not yet open but a preliminary conference overview and information are available here.

Funding Opportunities
United States
Great Lakes Sediment and Nutrient Reduction Program
Grants provided under this program will focus on reducing sediment and phosphorus runoff into the Great Lakes.
Applications Due March 31, 2017 at 6:00pm Eastern

For the Request for proposal and to apply, click here.

Register for the Annual Meeting!
Registration is now open for the Cities Initiative 2017 Annual Meeting, to be held June 14-16, 2017 in Montr éal , Qu é bec.  Please visit  to register and for more information.  Register and book your hotel room soon as space is limited!

US Water Prize Nominations Open
Awarded on an annual basis, the US Water Prize celebrates outstanding achievement in the advancement of sustainable solutions to our nation's water challenges.  Winners of the 2017 US Water Prize will be recognized and announced during the Water Prize Ceremony at the 2017 One Water Summit in New Orleans, June 27-29. Nominations are due March 8, 2017. More information about the nomination process can be found at

Please join the 128 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