The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, a binational group of mayors and leaders on the Great Lakes and St Lawrence River, welcomes Sam Cunningham, mayor of Waukegan, Illinois.

Mayor Cunningham joins mayors and leaders from the U.S. and Canada in their efforts to protect drinking water and build their economies on one of the most important sources of freshwater in the world.

“We are honoured to have Mayor Cunningham join this elite group of thought leaders who understand the importance of clean drinking water for their residents and the potential for economic development to the 40 million residents of this region,” said John Dickert, president and chief executive officer of GLSLCI.

The GLSLCI was created in 2003 by Mayor Richard Daley (Chicago) and Mayor David Miller (Toronto) when the Midwest and Great Lakes region was not receiving the support needed to protect the region’s cities during an era of declining industrial growth. Since then, the GLSLCI has worked with Washington to build the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Fund. The GLRI funds thousands of projects around the Great Lakes Region focusing the $300 million a year on projects from cleaning up legacy pollution to protection of the drinking water for over 40 million people.

“I am excited to add Waukegan’s voice to this impressive group of leaders who agree upon the importance of a healthy Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River to our communities’ wellbeing,” said Cunningham. “Waukegan has an incredibly diverse waterfront that benefits from the clean water supplied by our water plant to over 115,000 people in Waukegan and nearby communities, a lakefront with various recreational opportunities for the public, and a robust commercial presence from a deep-water harbor and thriving marina.”

The health of Lake Michigan is key to the City of Waukegan and beyond. “We look forward to working with Mayor Cunningham, who in the short time we have known each other, has brought new ideas to examine,” Dickert said. “The Mayor has a strong vision of how to build a better city and economy utilizing this precious resource.”


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