News from the Great Lakes Commission  |  October 2017  |  View this email online 

GLC holds 2017 Annual Meeting in Duluth

The GLC recently held its 2017 Annual Meeting in beautiful Duluth, Minnesota, right on the shore of Lake Superior. We were fortunate to feature fantastic speakers at the meeting, including U.S. Representative Rick Nolan, Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith, Duluth Mayor Emily Larson and representatives from our federal, state, and tribal partners. 

At the meeting, Commissioners endorsed a joint action plan to address the growing water infrastructure crisis in the Great Lakes region. The plan outlines actions to address a backlog in needed upgrades and repairs to water-related infrastructure in the eight Great Lakes states and two provinces over the next 20 years — everything from wastewater treatment plants to stormwater pipes and drinking-water filtration systems. 

Additionally, the GLC passed a resolution urging government agencies and research institutions to assess whether existing plans, programs and policies are adequate to protect the Great Lakes basin and its residents from the effects of contaminants of emerging concern, including chemicals, pharmaceuticals and microplastics.

The meeting also included presentations on navigational dredging, agricultural conservation, and preventing the introduction of aquatic invasive species through Chicago area waterways, and a panel of tribal representatives who discussed ways to better involve Great Lakes tribes in regional management of water resources.

For a full recap of the meeting click here.

GLC Annual Meeting

GLC announces support for Soo Locks Modernization Act 

New GLC Chair John Linc Stine recently announced our support for bipartisan legislation that authorizes funding to upgrade the Soo Locks, a critical component of the Great Lakes commercial navigation system that supports 227,000 jobs and generates $34 billion in business revenue annually.

Stine cited Department of Homeland Security estimates that project a severe recession should the locks shut down. U.S. Representative Rick Nolan joined the GLC at a news conference in support of the Soo Locks Modernization Act, as did representatives from the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, Wisconsin’s Office of Great Waters, the Lake Carriers’ Association and the Canadian shipping company Fednav.

Click here for more info on the legislation.

GLC awards green infrastructure grants to five Great Lakes communities

The GLC recently awarded five grants to promote green infrastructure in communities across the Great Lakes region. The grants will help bring resources and expertise to small and medium-sized communities that have not yet tried or have struggled to advance green infrastructure, a cost-effective approach to water management that restores or mimics the natural water cycle.

Each grant recipient will be paired with a mentor who has successfully implemented green infrastructure in their community. Both the grant program and mentoring network are part of the Great Lakes Green Infrastructure Champions Pilot Program, which aims to catalyze the adoption of green infrastructure practices and policies across the Great Lakes basin by providing mid-sized municipalities with resources they frequently lack. The mentoring network is not limited to grantees – any Great Lakes community with a population under 500,000 can apply to join here. The deadline to apply to be a mentee is October 31.

Check out this story map to find out more about green infrastructure and the grant recipients.

GLC releases proceedings from symposium on oil transportation in the Great Lakes region

Proceedings from a recent symposium that focused on oil transportation in the Great Lakes region were released by the GLC and partners recently. The Crude Move Symposium, held in June in Cleveland, highlighted risks and opportunities of different types of oil transportation in the region.

Proceedings from the symposium are now available online.

Save the date: 2018 GLC Semiannual Meeting and Great Lakes Day

Please save the date for the 2018 GLC Semiannual Meeting and Great Lakes Day, to be held March 6-8, 2018 in Washington, D.C. at The Madison Hotel. 

More information will be posted here as the meeting approaches.

Upcoming events

Oct. 24: Webinar - Sediment Choreography
This informational webinar will explore new approaches to upstream management practices using a river’s natural energy to reduce sediment load in Great Lakes commercial ports and recreational harbors. Using the Port of Cleveland’s experience, and other case studies, the discussion will also include strategies to recognize and maximize the value of collected bedload sediment as a commodity, rather than having to manage it as a solid waste.

Oct. 25-27: Michigan Aquatic Restoration Conference
The Michigan Aquatic Restoration Conference (MARC) is an annual gathering of professionals to advance the science of water resource restoration. 

Nov. 6-10: State of Lake Michigan Conference and Great Lakes Beach Association Conference
The 2017 State of Lake Michigan Conference will also feature the annual meeting of the Great Lakes Beach Association, and other associated workshops and field trips. 

Nov. 8-9: Semiannual Binational Great Lakes AIS Forum
The second Binational Great Lakes Aquatic Invasive Species Forum will bring together representatives of federal, state and provincial agencies, research facilities, environmental groups, private industry, and other key stakeholders, from the United States and Canada who are working on aquatic invasive species issues.

Nov. 8-9: 13th Annual MiCorps Conference and Training
The Michigan Clean Water Corps (MiCorps) hosts an annual conference each fall to report on volunteer monitoring activities in the state. Training is provided at the conference for interested volunteer coordinators.

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