Making Waves
September 7, 2017
In this edition of Making Waves:
Kenosha Receives Funding for Simmons Island Restoration Work
The City of Kenosha has received grants from the US EPA and the Fund for Lake Michigan (FFLM) for beach restoration and site improvement work at Simmons Island.  The work aims to reduce flooding, deter gulls, restore coastal vegetation, and improve public access - all critical elements for a healthy Great Lakes beach.  The EPA grant is for $175,000 and the FFLM grant is for $100,000; matching funds from the City bring the total amount to $450,000.  Plans for the project were developed under an intergovernmental agreement with the Racine Health Department to complete beach restoration along Lake Michigan.

US Budget Update
Congress is returning to session this week after its annual August break.  It is expected that the House of Representatives will consider a large omnibus funding bill, including appropriations for the US EPA, NOAA, the Department of the Interior, and the US Department of Agriculture, as early as Wednesday, September 6, 2017.  The Senate Appropriations Committee is set to consider its funding bill for US EPA and the Interior next week.

US ACE to Hold Public Hearings on Brandon Road Study
The US Army Corps of Engineers will host three public hearings on the recently released Brandon Road Lock and Dam evaluation study.  The study proposes implementing several measures at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam, including noise cannons, water jets, and a new electric barrier, to deter Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes basin.  The project is estimated to cost $275 million.  The public hearings will be held on the following dates and in the following cities:
  1. September 11, 2017 - Chicago, IL
  2. September 14, 2017 - Muskegon, MI
  3. September 18, 2017 - Joliet, IL
Cities Initiative staff plans to attend the Chicago public hearing and is in the process of drafting comments for the record on the Brandon Road study.  To learn more about the public sessions, please visit

Enbridge Line 5 Problem Areas Discovered
Disclosure of a federally required pipeline inspection has uncovered that at least two areas on the Enbridge Line 5, the twin pipelines that run under the Straits of Mackinac, are missing protective enamel coating; a third spot may also be missing the coating.  The 645-mile pipelines carry 23 million gallons of light crude oil and some liquid natural gas each day.  The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the State Police, the Michigan Agency for Energy, the Michigan Attorney General, and Governor Rick Snyder have all called on Enbridge to immediately fix the problem areas, and conduct anchor-area inspections where coating could have come off.  To read more, click here.

Great Lakes Commission Awarded Funding to Assess GLRI Impact on Nutrients
The Great Lakes Commission (GLC) was recently awarded $750,000 to conduct the project Researching Effectiveness of Agriculture.  The 2-year project will focus on the Lower Fox River in WI; Saginaw River in MI; Maumee River in OH, IN, and MI; Genesee River in NY, to determine whether GLRI investments have helped influence how farmers conduct agricultural practices.  To learn more, click here.

Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act Financing (WIFIA)
WIFIA is a new federal credit program administered by EPA for eligible water and wastewater infrastructure projects.  WIFIA can fund development and implementation activities for projects like:
  • Wastewater conveyance and treatment projects
  • Drinking water treatment and distribution projects
  • Enhanced energy efficiency projects at drinking water and wastewater facilities
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.  $20 Million is the minimum project size for large communities; $5 million for small communities (populations less than 25,000).  WIFIA can fund a maximum of 49% of eligible project costs.  Be on the lookout for a webinar notice about the WIFIA program.  To learn more in the meantime, visit .  

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

US ACE Brandon Road Public Hearings
Public hearings on the US ACE Brandon Road Lock and Dam Evaluation Study
September 11, 2017 - Chicago, IL
September 14, 2017 - Muskegon, MI
September 18, 2017 - Joliet, IL
For more information and to register to make comments, click here.
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
NOAA Marine Debris Program - Prevention
Provides funding to prevent the introduction of marine debris into the marine and coastal environment. Projects awarded will encourage changes in behavior of a target audience (such as students, teachers, industries, or the public) to address a specific marine debris issue, and will actively engage these groups in hands-on personal participation. Typical awards will range from $50,000 - $150,000. 

Letter of Intent Due: September 28, 2017
You will be notified by November 1, 2017 if you have been selected to submit a full application
For more information, click here.

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.

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.