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18 Jun

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Bold Agenda for Cross-Border Skills Development, Innovation & Entrepreneurship in North America’s Great Lakes Region Released

June 18, 2020 | By |

Immediate Release

Cleveland, Ohio and Toronto, Ontario – Today, the Council of the Great Lakes Region released its report, Great Lakes, Great Minds: Setting the Stage for Higher Education, Business, and Government Collaboration in the Great Lakes to Drive Talent Development, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, which was funded by the United States Mission in Canada.

“The Ontario government welcomes the Great Lakes, Great Minds report,” said the Honourable Ross Romano, Ontario’s Minister of Colleges and Universities. “A changing economy has created numerous collective challenges for each of us in the Great Lakes region. Our success as states and provinces hinges upon our ability to produce and attract talent, to take advantage of scientific discoveries, and to ensure our employers can thrive in both modern day and future economies. Advanced education, research and innovation is at the heart of this agenda and while we each boast incredible world renowned strengths within this sector, today’s report highlights an opportunity for us to work together, with a common goal, to bring together our individual strengths so that we may triumph over our collective challenges.”

The report, co-authored with John Austin, Director of the Michigan Economic Center and Senior Non-Resident Fellow with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Brookings Institution, highlights the strength of the region’s world-class teaching and research institutions and the role they can and must play in positioning the region to compete and win globally and ensuring its long-term competitiveness and development.

“This initiative promotes shared goals of economic prosperity and job creation by fostering collaboration that makes North America more competitive in the global economy,” said Greg Stanford, U.S. Consul General Toronto. “The Great Lakes, Great Minds report presents a way forward for supercharging cross-border institutional collaborations at a critical time in modernizing the United States-Canada economic partnership.”

The report outlines a set of practical recommendations and a framework for facilitating and funding cross-border partnerships and programs between higher education institutions to help companies address the widening talent gap in the region and to develop the future workforce, advance the region as a global hub of applied science and advanced innovation, and to connect business incubators and accelerators across the border.

“The Great Lakes region faces significant talent, innovation, and entrepreneurship pressures,” said Mark Fisher, President and CEO, Council of the Great Lakes Region. “Leveraging the region’s dense network of higher education institutions, we must facilitate a new decade of cross-border partnerships so that the Great Lakes can address these socio-economic risks and catapult ahead in the new economy.”

The full report can be downloaded at https://councilgreatlakesregion.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Great-Lakes_Great-Minds-Paper_June-5_Release_Final.pdf.

About the Council of the Great Lakes Region

The Council of the Great Lakes Region is a binational nonprofit organization that is dedicated to deepening the United States-Canada relationship in the Great Lakes Region. Its focus is on creating a stronger and more dynamic culture of collaboration in harnessing the region’s economic strengths and assets, improving the well-being and prosperity of the Region’s citizens, and protecting the Great Lakes for future generations. It achieves this mandate by conducting evidenced based policy research, connecting diverse perspectives at events like the Great Lakes Economic Forum, and acting as a strong voice for the Region’s varied economic, social and environmental interests.

For More Information

Mark Fisher
President and CEO
Council of the Great Lakes Region
613-668-2044 / mark@councilgreatlakesregion.org

10 Oct

By

Council of the Great Lakes Region and the International Association for Great Lakes Research Form Partnership

October 10, 2019 | By |

SAGINAW, MI – A partnership announced today aims to better connect science, policy, and business interests to accelerate both the restoration and protection of the Great Lakes and the region’s sustainable development.

The International Association for Great Lakes Research and the Council of the Great Lakes Region made the announcement at the State of Lake Huron Conference in Saginaw. The event was co-hosted by the two organizations and the Great Lakes Beach Association.

The Great Lakes watershed, shared by the United States and Canada, as well as eight U.S. states and two Canadian provinces, is a globally significant freshwater resource requiring special protection and management. The watershed provides drinking water to millions of Americans and Canadians, and supports a regional economy that serves as the engine of commerce in and between both countries. The watershed is also one of the world’s most diverse, with 3,500 species of plants and wildlife and more than 250 species of fish.

“The economy and environments of the Great Lakes are vitally important to both countries, yet conversations about the region’s development and protection are often disconnected,” notes Mark Fisher, president and CEO of CGLR. “The partnership between CGLR and IAGLR will serve as a unique platform for connecting scientific experts, policy makers and lawmakers at all levels of government, companies and business leaders across sectors, nongovernmental organizations, youth, and civil society to each other’s dialogues, with the goal of finding solutions to the region’s interrelated socioeconomic and environmental challenges.”

“A strategic goal of IAGLR is to engage its considerable scientific expertise to better inform policy decisions pertaining to the many transboundary socioeconomic and environmental problems facing the Great Lakes,” notes Paul Sibley, president of the research-based association. “The formalized partnership between IAGLR and CGLR provides a mechanism to achieve this goal and reflects the growing recognition that solving Great Lakes issues requires integrative collaboration between scientists, policy makers, lawmakers, industry, and the public that extends beyond traditional boundaries and approaches; one that incorporates a diversity of perspectives and expertise.”

About the Council of the Great Lakes Region

The Council of the Great Lakes Region is a member-run, binational nonprofit organization that is dedicated to deepening the United States-Canada relationship in the Great Lakes Region. Its focus is on creating a stronger and more dynamic culture of collaboration in harnessing the region’s economic strengths and assets, improving the well-being and prosperity of the Region’s citizens, and protecting the Great Lakes for future generations. It achieves this mandate by conducting evidenced-based policy research, connecting diverse perspectives at events like the Great Lakes Economic Forum, and acting as a strong voice for the region’s varied economic, social, and environmental interests.

About the International Association for Great Lakes Research

The member-run International Association for Great Lakes Research is a scientific organization made up of researchers studying the Laurentian Great Lakes, other large lakes of the world, and their watersheds, as well as those with an interest in such research. IAGLR members encompass all scientific disciplines with a common interest in the management of large lake ecosystems on many levels. It advances its mandate in part by communicating the research of its members through the annual Conference on Great Lakes Research and other lake-level meetings, as well as its highly respected Journal of Great Lakes Research.

For More Information:

Mark Fisher
President and CEO
Council of the Great Lakes Region
613-668-2044 / mark@councilgreatlakesregion.org

Paul Sibley
President
International Association for Great Lakes Research
734-498-2007 / president@iaglr.org

12 Sep

By

Council of the Great Lakes Region Launches Global Cities Team Challenge Smart Regions Cluster

September 12, 2019 | By |

Cleveland, Ohio and Toronto, Ontario, September 11, 2019 – The Council of the Great Lakes Region, a binational nonprofit established in 2013 to find new ways of harnessing the strengths and assets of the Great Lakes economic region between the United States and Canada while protecting the environment for future generations, has launched the binational Smart, Sustainable Great Lakes Cities Regional Cluster (the “Cluster”) as part of the Global Cities Team Challenge (GCTC).

With a combined GDP of US$6.0 trillion in 2017, the Great Lakes Region, home to 107 million people, would equal the third largest economy in the world if it were a country, supporting over 50 million U.S. and Canadian jobs. As the region’s cities grow and sectors modernize and expand to meet global demands, their long-term prosperity, competitiveness, and sustainability depends heavily on their ability to design, invest in, and implement smart technologies, infrastructure, and data-driven solutions.

The Cluster will provide all levels of government, industry, academia, and the nonprofit sector in the region a unique opportunity to work together to devise a vision and roadmap for accelerating the region’s digital transformation, and to drive systemic change and citizen behaviour in achieving a smart, sustainable future in our cities and key sectors. The member-driven Cluster will also allow the region to collaborate in:

  • Co-developing and testing smart protocols and standards to support the deployment of groundbreaking Internet of Things and Cyber-Physical Systems applications in an open environment;
  • Demonstrating and scaling smart solutions, as well as sharing best practices and lessons learned, in a non-commercial sandbox environment;
  • Taking advantage of shared investment and procurement opportunities; and,
  • Adopting new techniques for measuring and communicating sustainability, from the city-level to the regional and national level.

Defiance, Ohio is representative of many communities facing water quality challenges in the Great Lakes and are an ideal partner for the development of new approaches, which is why the city is leading the first demonstration project under the Council’s regional cluster. A series of demonstration projects to achieve nutrient reduction goals, located in the Maumee Watershed, will highlight Source Water Protection efforts and demonstrate a replicable, scalable means to achieve a prosperous and sustainable future.

Almost 4,000 miles of streams, creeks and rivers empty into the scenic Maumee River, which has the largest watershed of any river flowing into the Great Lakes. The Upper Maumee River is the sole source of drinking water for the City of Defiance and the surrounding residents. With multiple water quality concerns, the city is taking an active leadership role in watershed planning and other collaborative, sustainable development efforts throughout the region.

Agriculture accounts for 72% of the land use in Defiance county. The Maumee River, consisting of seven sub-basins that drain into the western basin of Lake Erie, has been identified as one of the key sources of nutrients leading to Lake Erie algae blooms, with 85% of those nutrients flowing through the City of Defiance. Nutrient loading has been exacerbated by extreme weather events, and research shows that 70-90% of nutrient loading occurs in 10-20% of these wet weather events.

Quotes

“Achieving sustainability where it most counts, in our cities and sectors, remains a significant challenge, especially in major economic regions like the binational Great Lakes. The new Smart, Sustainable Great Lakes Cluster provides a platform to engage cities and companies in accelerating the adoption of smart, data-driven sustainability solutions that are replicable and scalable in a collaborative, open, and interoperable environment.” – ” Mark Fisher, President and CEO, Council of the Great Lakes Region.

“The Global Cities Team Challenge’s new Smart Regions Collaborative is very pleased to have the Great Lakes Region as an inaugural member. By bringing together stakeholders from all sectors- cities, communities, industry and universities to focus on economic development and continued water quality improvements, the Great Lakes Region will have the players in place to take advantage of cutting edge technologies that can improve people’s lives.” – Jean Rice, Senior Broadband Specialist, National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

“Big challenges require broader and more strategic thinking on multiple fronts; we believe that these innovative and collaborative efforts will lead to better outcomes for water quality, not just in Defiance, but throughout the Great Lakes Region. The City of Defiance is dedicated to working closely with the Council of Great Lakes Region and Defiance County in order to protect water quality while supporting the local economy and agriculture in our region.” – Jeff Leonard, City Administrator for Defiance, Ohio.

“As we look at our region and the Great Lakes as a whole, it is important to remember that we are all partners not just State to State, but Country to Country. Looking at the watershed and larger water quality issues, the old method of trying to assign blame and piling on regulation has not produced a desired effect. I see promise in making ‘clusters’ of rural and urban communities working together for positive outcomes in the future. I think it is an honor for the City and County to be working together with the Council of the Great Lakes Region to demonstrate how this team minded framework can work, and can be replicated throughout the region.” – Ryan Mack, Defiance County Commissioner.

About the Council of the Great Lakes Region

The Council of the Great Lakes Region is a binational nonprofit organization that is dedicated to deepening the United States-Canada relationship in the Great Lakes Region. Its focus is on creating a stronger and more dynamic culture of collaboration in harnessing the region’s economic strengths and assets, improving the well-being and prosperity of the Region’s citizens, and protecting the Great Lakes for future generations. It achieves this mandate by conducting evidenced based policy research, connecting diverse perspectives at events like the Great Lakes Economic Forum, and acting as a strong voice for the Region’s varied economic, social and environmental interests.

About the City of Defiance

Defiance sits prominently at the confluence of the Scenic Maumee River and Auglaize River in Northwest Ohio. Defiance has approximately 17,000 residents, is the county seat for Defiance County and the regional center for a six-county area. Recently named as a Best Hometown by Ohio Magazine, Defiance features a revitalized downtown, charming shops, as well as numerous opportunities for outdoor recreation and exploration of a diverse history within a rich park system. Defiance is a Main Street Community, a Buckeye Trail Town, home to Defiance College and growth is in our future.

About the Global Cities Team Challenge

The GCTC is a collaborative platform for the development of smart cities and communities led by National Institute of Standards and Technology, a bureau of U.S. Department of Commerce, in partnership with other U.S. federal agencies including U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T), National Science Foundation, International Trade Administration, and National Telecommunications and Information Administration

Contact Information

Mark Fisher
President and CEO / Council of the Great Lakes Region
613.66.2044 / mark@councilgreatlakesregion.org

Jennifer English
MS4 Coordinator / City of Defiance
419.783.4355 / jenglish@cityofdefiance.com

02 Jul

By

Council of Great Lakes Region and Pollution Probe Release Report on Harnessing Big Data Analytics to Improve Watershed Protection

July 2, 2019 | By |

TORONTO, July 2, 2019 – Pollution Probe and the Council of the Great Lakes Region are pleased to announce the release of a new report, ‘Water Management and Big Data Analytics: Examination of Opportunities and Approaches to Leverage Data Science, Analytics and Advanced Computing to support Watershed Planning and the health of our Great Lakes’ Ecosystem’.

This report was made possible thanks to generous funding from the RBC Foundation, and the many ideas shared by experts at a workshop convened by Pollution Probe and the Council that explored watershed management and protection efforts on the north shore of Lake Ontario.

“We are very pleased to be partnering with RBC on this innovative project”, says Christopher Hilkene, CEO of Pollution Probe. “This report showcases opportunities for an improved approach to watershed management and adaptive decision-making to help ensure that water in the Great Lakes basin is protected”.

The report examines the role of ‘Big Data’ and advanced computing to improve predictive decision-making for the Great Lakes watersheds, in relation to climate change, land use change and other socio-economic trends affecting the lakes.

“Millions of points of data are being collected every minute about our environment, our economy, and how people interact with their city and surrounding environment, from transportation to water use,” said Mark Fisher, President and CEO of the Council of the Great Lakes Region. “By connecting this data and analyzing it at incredibly fast speeds using smart computing technology, we can generate profound insights about what is happening in our watersheds, now and in the future, that will help governments, businesses, and civil society make better decisions regarding economic development, land use, and protecting the environment.”

This report will be of great value to policy-makers and organizations involved in management of the Great Lakes including government, industry, academia and NGOs. New and unique data visualization and decision-making tools, insights and knowledge can be derived using data science and high performance computing. These tools and insights can help policy-makers and other stakeholders better understand the complex factors that cause dynamic changes in the watersheds supporting the health of the Great Lakes, and inform adaptation and mitigation strategies in the basin. By helping improve watershed management in the Great Lakes region, the project will foster greater resiliency and sustainability across the Region.

Download the full report here


About The Council of the Great Lakes Region

The Council of the Great Lakes Region is a binational nonprofit organization that is dedicated to deepening the United States-Canada relationship in the Great Lakes Region. Its focus is on creating a stronger and more dynamic culture of collaboration in harnessing the region’s economic strengths and assets, improving the well-being and prosperity of the Region’s citizens, and protecting the Great Lakes for future generations. It achieves this mandate by conducting evidenced based policy research, connecting diverse perspectives at events like the Great Lakes Economic Forum, and acting as a strong voice for the Region’s varied economic, social and environmental interests.

About Pollution Probe

Pollution Probe is a national, not-for-profit, charitable organization which is improving the health and well-being of Canadians by advancing policy that achieves positive, tangible environmental change. It is a leader in building successful partnerships with industry and government to develop practical solutions for shared environmental challenges.

For more information contact:

Mark Fisher
President and CEO
Council of the Great Lakes Region
613-668-2044 / mark@councilgreatlakesregion.org

18 Jun

By

Action Plan 2030 to Protect the Great Lakes proposed

June 18, 2019 | By |

Leading Great Lakes Advocates make case for10-year, $100M/year strategy

June 18, 2019- Toronto, ON

Today, following a nine-month intensive study and consultation process, five leading Great Lakes organisations submitted a 10-year Action Plan to protect the Great Lakes (Action Plan 2030) to Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, and shared it with the Honourable Rod Phillips, Ontario’s Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks. The organisations are calling on the Federal Government to invest $100 million per year over ten years to implement the plan, that will serve as leverage to secure matching investments from other levels of government and other sources.

“Canada is working with the United States to protect the Great Lakes,” said the Hon. Catherine McKenna, Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, “Together we can find solutions to complex problems facing the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River including fighting climate change. When we restore and protect our fresh water, we not only secure the health of our environment, but also the health, culture and economy of millions of Canadians.”

Action Plan 2030 was prepared under the direction of an Expert Panel co-chaired by two esteemed environmental specialists, Mr. Gord Miller, former Environment Commissioner of Ontario, and M. Jean Cinq-Mars, Québec’s former Sustainable Development Commissioner. Working closely with experts, stakeholders, and indigenous advisors, they studied new approaches to tackle four complex challenges facing the Canadian portion of the Great Lakes – climate change, toxics and other harmful pollutants, nutrients that contribute to harmful algal blooms, and bacteriological contamination of beaches.

“While progress in protecting the Great Lakes has been made over the years, the combined impacts of climate change, population growth, and intensive farming and industrial activity demands a new approach,” said Expert Panel co-chair Gord Miller, “By targeting sources of pollution having the greatest impact, the Action Plan proposes more strategic and surgical interventions using new kinds of collaboration, technologies and big data.”

The Action Plan to Protect the Great Lakes was inspired by the U.S Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a federal program that has delivered over $2 billion in funding for Great Lakes restoration since 2008 and resulted in a 3:1 return on investment. It is supported by both major political parties in the United States.

“Action Plan 2030 shows us the way forward in Great Lakes protection. Protecting such a vast and valuable ecosystem requires significant and sustained investment like the GLRI on the US side of the Lakes,” said Jean Cinq-Mars, Expert Panel Co-chair. “We need the same kind of multi-partisan leadership and commitment this side of the border.”

The Action Plan to Protect the Great Lakes consists of 15 key actions to protect the Great Lakes and those who live in the region. When implemented, these actions would:

  • Protect Great Lakes shoreline communities and ecosystems that are most vulnerable to high water levels and make them ‘climate resilient’;
  • Reduce our exposure to toxics, by actively identifying and reducing human and environmental exposure to harmful chemicals in the Great Lakes region, in the air, water, ground and in products;
  • Accelerate phosphorus reduction into our waterways that cause harmful algal blooms, by targeting areas or properties that contribute the most;
  • Make contaminated beaches clean and safe by taking action to address sources of sewage and other bacteriological contamination.

“By getting information about our exposure to pollutants in the environment and in products into the hands of communities and individuals, Action Plan 2030 will help us make more informed choices and will drive action to eliminate those sources of pollution,” said Anishinabek Nation Regional Deputy Grand Council Chief Edward Wawia, a member of the Expert Panel.

The five organizations, who originally proposed the idea of an Action Plan to Minister McKenna, including the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, the Council of the Great Lakes Region, Freshwater Future Canada, and Stratégies Saint Laurent, are leading advocates for Great Lakes and St. Lawrence protection, representing diverse perspectives including municipal governments, business and industry, fisheries management, and environmental and conservation interests.

“Mayors and municipal leaders are concerned about the record flooding in many communities, and welcome Action Plan 2030’s recommendations for new approaches and investments,” said Sarah Rang, Deputy Director of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative.

“Home to 1 in 3 Canadians, preserving the health of the Great Lakes is vitally important for protecting public health and the integrity of our natural systems, but also for ensuring our future prosperity as the lakes support a number of key economic sectors and communities in Ontario,” said Mark Fisher, President and CEO of the Council of the Great Lakes Region.

Read The Report

For more information: Nicola Crawhall, Great Lakes St. Lawrence Collaborative, 416-407-5880, nicola.crawhall@rogers.com