Environmental Issues Highlight Meeting of Great Lakes Mayors

By Angelica Morrison

Representatives from cities along the Great Lakes corridor and the St. Lawrence River gathered in Niagara Falls last week to grapple with a number of environmental issues. 

The meeting of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative included discussions about climate change, drinking water, managing nutrients and invasive species.

The group consists of more than 100 cities from both the US and Canada.  35 mayors attendanded during the event and Mayor John Dickert of Racine Wisconsin was one of them.

After leading a panel discussion on climate change, he said the issue must be a priority for governmental leaders.

“We all see it happening, it’s not as if it’s happening we’re seeing it, and it’s having dramatic impacts on our cities," said Dickert.  "So the question is, are we going to work with our local, federal and state officials to fix it? Or are we going to continue to play this game - what seems to be happening right now- where people just ignore it. And, I don’t think that we can leave that legacy on to our kids.”

Executive director for the initiative David Ullrich says the event helps guide mayors on the hottest trends in protecting our fresh water source.

“Mayors are on the front lines day in and day out, doing things in their community to improve the quality of life and economic wellbeing in their cities and at the same time protecting this tremendous resources," said Ullrich.  "When they come here, they get some of the best information that helps them do their jobs better both from our panels and speakers and from talking to one another. 

The event ended Friday. 

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