Making Waves
July 19, 2017
In this edition of Making Waves:
Welcome John Dickert, new President and CEO of the Cities Initiative
Please join us in welcoming John Dickert as the new President and CEO of the Cities Initiative!   John is joining the Cities Initiative following eight years as mayor of Racine, Wisconsin. In addition, he comes to the Cities Initiative with experience in local, state, and federal government relations and public affairs.  John is excited about the future of the Cities Initiative and looks forward to working with the organization's mayors. John can be reached at 312-201-4516 or

Welcome to Northern Bruce Peninsula!
Welcome to  Mayor Milt McIver and the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula as the 131st member of the Cities Initiative!

U.S. House Budget Bills Includes $300 Million for GLRI
The Cities Initiative joined the Great Lakes Commission, the Healing Our Waters Coalition, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, the Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority, the Council of Great Lakes Industries, and the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition to urge Senate and House appropriators to fund the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) at $300 Million for fiscal year 2018.  Senate and House appropriators are in the process of developing the various appropriations bills to fund the FY2018 budget.  Just last week, the House Appropriations Committee released the FY2018 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill, to be considered in subcommittee.  The bill funds the GLRI at $300 Million, the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund at $863 Million and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund at $1.144 Million.  The bill funds the Environmental Protection Agency at $7.5 billion, a reduction of $528 million below the fiscal year 2017 enacted level. The bill also cuts funding to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Parks Service, and Geological Survey.  To review the bill, click here. The Cities Initiative will continue to provide updates via Making Waves on U.S. budget developments.

Marquette, MI and the Upper Peninsula Helping Monarchs!
The Superior Watershed Partnership has worked with the City of Marquette, MI and other communities for a number of years to support monarch butterflies on their migration between Canada and Mexico.  The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is an important stopover for the monarchs on this migration.  SWP's work to support this critical pollinator has included mailing milkweed seed packets (the milkweed plant is the preferred food source for monarchs and the plant on which they deposit their eggs) to citizens in their utility bills, offering free milkweed plants at local events for families to plant in their home gardens, and critical pollinator habitat restoration work along Lake Superior's shores.  To read more, visit  

No Bighead or Silver Carp Found in Illinois Waterway Sampling
The Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC) reported that no silver or bighead Asian carp were seen or caught during two-weeks of intensive monitoring initiated by the capture of an adult male silver carp 9 miles from Lake Michigan on June 22.  The capture triggered the ACRCC's Contingency Response Plan.  With the conclusion of the intensive monitoring event on July 7, barrier defense, removal and monitoring actions will continue to be guided by the 2017 Monitoring and Response Plan.  The plan includes two-weeks of additional intensive Asian carp monitoring in the waterway upstream of the electric dispersal barriers in September.  To learn more about the ACRCC and their work, visit  

Asian Carp Seized in Montreal
In early July, during a day-long operation by Quebec's Ministry of Forests, Fauna and Parks, three grass carp were seized from Montreal businesses.  Grass carp, an invasive Asian carp, are illegal to own, buy or sell in Canada.  Those found with the carp will be charged and can face a monetary fine.  To learn more about Quebec's efforts to combat Asian carp, click here.

Significant Lake Erie Harmful Algal Bloom Predicted
University of Michigan researchers and their partners predict that western Lake Erie will experience a significant harmful algal bloom this summer in later July and August, potentially reaching levels last seen in 2013 and 2014, though smaller than the record bloom of 2015.  The research team is comprised of scientists from the University of Michigan, North Carolina State University and NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, and is funded by NOAA.  This year's Lake Erie bloom is expected to measure 7.5 on the severity index but could range between 6.5 and 9. An index above 5 indicates a potentially harmful bloom. The severity index is based on a bloom's biomass-the amount of its harmful algae-over a sustained period.  The size of an algal bloom isn't necessarily an indication of how toxic it is. The toxins in a large bloom may not be as concentrated as in a smaller bloom. NOAA is currently developing tools to predict how toxic blooms will be.  To learn more visit  

Change in Canadian Law on Maritime Border Crossings
The Canadian government recently changed the law regarding maritime border crossings.  The revision now allows for American boaters and anglers to cross the international border into Canadian waters without registering first with Canada Customs officials.  Previously, if an American boater or angler accidentally crossed into Canadian waters, there was a chance they would be penalized.  It is important to note, however, that docking a watercraft or venturing onto Canadian soil still requires customs intervention.  

Québec Creates a Maritime Incident Management Center
As part of its Maritime Strategy action plan, the Québec government is creating the Maritime Incident Management Expertise Center (Centre d'expertise en gestion des risques d'incidents maritimes, CEGRIM). The center and its experts will create tools and best practices for prevention, planning, intervention and mitigation of hazardous materials spills in the St. Lawrence River. The center will add to the existing support from the ministry of Public Safety to municipalities in the creation of their public safety plans. For more information (in French), click here.

Latest Mission for UQTR Research Vessel
The Universite du Quebec à Trois-Rivieres (UQTR) research vessel, Lampsilis, left the port of Trois-Rivières on July 5 for a 12-day trip on the St. Lawrence River with 12 researchers, 11 students and numerous river organization representatives on board. The team studied the impacts of wastewater and agricultural effluents on the health of the river and its organisms. The researchers measured the presence of fecal coliforms, pesticides, pharmaceuticals and nutrients in the river to understand their influence on the degradation of fish and invertebrate reserves and their impacts on water quality. For more information (in French), click here.  

Events and Webinars
Making Waves: Battle for the Great Lakes
A documentary about the effects of aquatic invasive species in the Great Lakes and the efforts under way to control and prevent them

To  learn more and for the upcoming broadcast schedule, please click here.
Webinar: Seven Best Practices for
Risk Communications
An interactive 90-minute webinar presented by NOAA's Office for Coastal Management to learn techniques that will improve your ability to communicate risk-related information. Help keep your community safe from coastal hazards.

July 25, 2017
12:30-2:00 pm EDT
Click here to register.

Webinar: Lake Superior Board of Control
The International Lake Superior Board of Control invites members of the public to participate in a teleconference-webinar to discuss the regulation of Lake Superior outflows and water levels in the upper Great Lakes system. 

July 19, 2017
12:00-1:00 pm EDT
For complete conference details, click here.

Funding Opportunities
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.

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)
For more information:
Contact Eda Lam at

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.