There are many challenges that face the Great Lakes region: Lakes Michigan and Huron are at historic impacting commercial shipping, coastal wetlands and beaches. Invasive species such as Asian Carp threaten ecological disaster. The growth of the shale gas industry could have adverse impacts on water quality.
As the immediate past chair of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, Mayor Tom Barrett represented mayors of 96 cities in the United States and Canada and over 16 million citizens. Along with other local officials, GLSLCI are working to sustain a resource that represents 20% of the world’s surface freshwater supply, provides drinking water for 40 million people, and is the foundation upon which a strong regional economy is based.
Tom Barrett was elected Milwaukee’s 40th Mayor on April 6, 2004, and has been reelected with over 70% of the vote in both 2008 and 2012.