Ontario SignThe Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative’s Programs and Initiatives provide resources to cities, ranging from implementing green infrastructure to creating avenues for cities to weigh in on bi-national issues.

Current Initiatives Include:

  • Lake Michigan Coastal Resilience Initiative: The Lake Michigan Coastal Resilience Initiative is a two-year, joint project between the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The initiative will provide training and technical assistance to municipalities around Lake Michigan to support the development of nature-based solutions to impacts being experienced in coastal areas, including erosion, flooding and severe storm events.  Learn more.
  • Climate Change: Resources and trainings on climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies for cities

Past Initiatives Include:

  • Great Lakes St. Lawrence Collaborative: The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, in partnership with the Great Lakes Fishery Commissionthe Council of the Great Lakes RegionFreshwater Future, and Stratégies Saint-Laurent, has been leading an inclusive, stakeholder-led process to arrive at a common vision and an action plan to amplify and accelerate collective actions and investments to protect and restore the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence waters and ecosystem. This project, called the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Collaborative Strategy, is inspired by the U.S. Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and would focus on the nexus of water, economy, and climate resiliency in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region, with special consideration to First Nations and Metis needs.
  • Invasive Species – Asian Carp: Cities Initiative staff participate in the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS) Advisory Committee and advocate for a physical separation of the CAWS and the Great Lakes on behalf of the membership.
  • Microplastics: Information and resources on microplastics in the Great Lakes. Cities Initiative staff provided a sample resolution for member cities to pass in their own municipalities. The membership as a whole passed a resolution in support of banning microbeads, which amplified the state, provincial and federal voices advocating for action on this issue.
  • Thames River Phosphorus Reduction Collaborative: The Cities Initiative and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) entered into a Memorandum of Cooperation in December 2015 to develop and implement a phosphorus loss reduction strategy for farmland drainage in the Thames River basin. The joint effort produced the Thames River Phosphorus Reduction Collaborative, an initiative using land management and drainage solutions for agriculture, co-operatively with partners, to reduce phosphorus and improving water quality in the Thames River and the Western Basin of Lake Erie.