Organizations Represented at Water after Borders


The Water after Borders summit will bring together a talented group of academic, civic, and community leaders from a variety of organizations. We are proud to highlight these organizations and to celebrate their important work on today's most pressing water issues.



United States Environmental Protection Agency


United States Environmental Protection Agency

Represented at WAB by Dr. Susan Hedman

About the organization:

"The mission of EPA is to protect human health and the environment. The EPA's purpose is to ensure that: all Americans are protected from significant risks to human health and the environment where they live, learn and work; national efforts to reduce environmental risk are based on the best available scientific information; federal laws protecting human health and the environment are enforced fairly and effectively; environmental protection is an integral consideration in U.S. policies concerning natural resources, human health, economic growth, energy, transportation, agriculture, industry, and international trade, and these factors are similarly considered in establishing environmental policy; all parts of society -- communities, individuals, businesses, and state, local and tribal governments -- have access to accurate information sufficient to effectively participate in managing human health and environmental risks; environmental protection contributes to making our communities and ecosystems diverse, sustainable and economically productive; and the United States plays a leadership role in working with other nations to protect the global environment." - quoted from EPA website
View the EPA's website



Environment Canada


Environment Canada

Represented at WAB by Michael Goffin

About the organization:

"Environment Canada's mandate is to improve the quality of life of Canadians through the preservation and enhancement of the natural environment, including water, air, and soil quality, renewable resources, migratory birds, and other wildlife, as well as weather forecasting and warnings. Environment Canada's mission is to make sustainable development a reality in Canada by helping Canadians live and prosper in an environment that needs to be respected, protected, and conserved.

To this end, Environment Canada undertakes and promotes programs to: protect Canadians from domestic and global sources of pollution; conserve biodiversity in healthy ecosystems; and enable Canadians to adapt to weather and related environmental influences and impacts on human health and safety, economic prosperity, and environmental quality. The evolving mission of Environment Canada is to provide leadership and play an advocacy role in making sustainable development a reality in Canada." - quoted from website for Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
View Environment Canada's website




Shedd Aquarium

Represented at WAB by Bob Wengel and Michelle Parker

About the organization:

"At Shedd, we have a deep sense of responsibility to conserve wildlife, now and long into the future. To help protect wild animals and their habitats, scientists from Shedd’s Daniel P. Haerther Center for Conservation and Research are engaged in projects halfway around the globe — and in our own backyard, the Great Lakes...

Shedd Aquarium is committed to protecting the Great Lakes for the people and wildlife that rely on them. The stakes are high. Our Great Lakes Program focuses on significant environmental issues that affect the wildlife and people in the Great Lakes region — from algae to spruce and minnows to moose..." - quoted from the Shedd Aquarium's website.
View Shedd's website



International Joint Commission


International Joint Commission

Represented at WAB by Commissioner Lana Pollack

About the organization:

"Canada and the United States created the International Joint Commission because they recognized that each country is affected by the other's actions in lake and river systems along the border. The two countries cooperate to manage these waters wisely and to protect them for the benefit of today's citizens and future generations.

The IJC is guided by the Boundary Waters Treaty, signed by Canada and the United States in 1909. The treaty provides general principles, rather than detailed prescriptions, for preventing and resolving disputes over waters shared between the two countries and for settling other transboundary issues. The specific application of these principles is decided on a case-by-case basis.

The IJC has two main responsibilities: regulating shared water uses and investigating transboundary issues and recommending solutions.The IJC's recommendations and decisions take into account the needs of a wide range of water uses, including drinking water, commercial shipping, hydroelectric power generation, agriculture, industry, fishing, recreational boating and shoreline property." - quoted from the IJC website
View the IJC's website



ecopeace


EcoPeace Middle East

Represented at WAB by Gidon Bromberg, Nader Al-Khateeb, and Munqueth Mehyar

About the organization:

"EcoPeace Middle East is a unique organization that brings together Jordanian, Palestinian, and Israeli environmentalists. Our primary objective is the promotion of cooperative efforts to protect our shared environmental heritage. In so doing, we seek to advance both sustainable regional development and the creation of necessary conditions for lasting peace in our region. EcoPeace has offices in Amman, Bethlehem, and Tel-Aviv." - quoted from EcoPeace's website.

EcoPeace's work was also recently discussed in the New York Times, in this op-ed article, written by Thomas Friedman.
View EcoPeace's website



Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago


Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Represented at WAB by Commissioner Debra Shore

About the organization:

"The District will protect the health and safety of the public in its service area, protect the quality of the water supply source (Lake Michigan), improve the quality of water in watercourses in its service area, protect businesses and homes from flood damages, and manage water as a vital resource for its service area. The District’s service area is 883.5 square miles of Cook County, Illinois. The District is committed to achieving the highest standards of excellence in fulfilling its mission." - quoted from MWRD's website.

View MWRD's website



Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, LLP


Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, LLP

Represented at WAB by Peter Mulvaney

About the organization:

"Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) is one of the largest and most influential architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban planning firms in the world. Founded in 1936, we have completed more than 10,000 projects across 50-plus countries. We are renowned for our iconic buildings and our steadfast commitment to design excellence, innovation, and sustainability." - quoted from SOM's website.

View SOM's website




University of Buffalo Regional Institute


University of Buffalo Regional Institute

Represented at WAB by Dr. Kathryn Bryk-Friedman

About the organization:

"UBRI brings together robust capacities and notable achievements in planning, policy analysis, public process, and communications across a wide array of relevant topics including urban design, land use and transportation, asset management, economic development, market analyses, GIS and 3-D modeling analyses, regional governance, and education, as well as issues of special regional significance such as arts and cultural tourism...

A major research and public policy division of the University at Buffalo, the UB Regional Institute provides objective analysis to drive crucial decisions for its public, private and nonprofit partners across all scales from neighborhoods to municipalities, from regions to states to federal levels and beyond the nation’s borders to the global community. Drawing on diverse experience and a deeply rooted passion for independent research and public engagement, the institute generates clear, actionable insights that advance communities with our partners. In addition to university faculty and academic researchers, the institute’s partners include governments, foundations, businesses, civic groups and nonprofits." - quoted from CNT's website

View UBRI's website



Center for Neighborhood Technology


Center for Neighborhood Technology

Represented at WAB by Harriet Festing

About the organization:

"Founded in 1978, the Center for Neighborhood Technology is a leader in promoting more livable and sustainable urban communities. We research, invent, and test urban strategies that use resources more efficiently and more equitably.

Over the years, CNT’s work in climate, energy, water, transportation and community development has fueled a generation of community development and learning institutions, earning CNT a reputation as an economic innovator and leader in the field of creative sustainable development. In 2009, we were honored with the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.

We approach our work by: (a) Researching urban problems to build knowledge through tools and activities that change how residents, policymakers, and market actors respond to issues such as efficient use of resources, strategies for reducing pollution, or ways to improve public transportation. Our studies are readily available for use by residents, policymakers, students, and other researchers. (b) Building coalitions to advocate for public policies that can help address urban sustainability issues. (c) Designing, developing, and operating economic development demonstration projects to address urban sustainability in innovative ways." - quoted from CNT's website

View CNT's website


University of Illinois - Chicago


University of Illinois - Chicago

Represented at WAB by Dr. Rachel Havrelock, Dr. Martin Jaffe, Dr. Samuel Dorevitch, Dr. Krishna R. Reddy, Dr. Moira Zellner, and Kellen Marshall

About the organization:

"A major research university in the heart of one of the world's greatest cities, UIC provides a world-class education for its students. We are committed to creating and disseminating new knowledge as a university of growing national and international stature. The largest university in the Chicago area, UIC has 27,580 students, 15 colleges-including the nation's largest medical school-and annual research expenditures exceeding $335 million...

UIC is proud to be a leader in campus sustainability among Chicago-area higher education institutions as well as a charter participant in the Sustainability Tracking and Rating System (STARS) and the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact. We were the first university in Chicago to establish an Office of Sustainability (2008) and in 2009 published our Climate Action Plan, identifying steps to reduce our carbon emissions at least 80% by 2050." - quoted from UIC's website

View UIC's website



University of Alberta


University of Alberta

Represented at WAB by Dr. Imre Szeman

About the organization:

"The University of Alberta is a Top 5 Canadian university and one of the Top 100 in the world, home to more than 170 graduate programs, 200 undergraduate programs and 450 active student groups...

With both state-of-the-art laboratory infrastructure and over 19000 acres of research land holdings, the U of A advances the fundamental sciences, the social innovation, and new technologies that will help preserve and sustain our environment. Research in ecology, plant genetics, wildlife management, climate change research, and biodiversity monitoring is coupled with investigations of the economic, social and cultural issues that arise with land management practices and policies; watershed management; water quality, supply and demand; and the response of small communities to ecological change..."- quoted from UAlberta's website

View UAlberta's website



Faith in Place


Faith in Place

Represented at WAB by Veronica Kyle

About the organization:

"Faith in Place inspires religious people of diverse faiths to care for the Earth through connection, education, and advocacy...

Faith in Place began in 1999 as a project of the Center for Neighborhood Technology. Our goal was to gather religious leaders in the Chicago region in dialogue, prayer, and action on issues of environmental sustainability. Initially, we worked in seven locations, including low-income urban neighborhoods, diverse inner-ring communities, and affluent suburbs. Together, these communities reflected the religious, economic and racial diversity of our region.

Through theological reflection and action, members of the seven Interfaith Sustainability Circles identified environmental priorities and projects. Two common concerns emerged: concerns about the sustainability of the food supply and our use of energy in this country..."- quoted from Faith in Place's website

View Faith in Place's website



Council of Great Lakes Governors


Council of Great Lakes Governors

Represented at WAB by David Naftzger

About the organization:

"Established in 1983, the Council of Great Lakes Governors is a non-partisan partnership of Governors from the eight Great Lakes States - Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. In recent years, the Premiers of Ontario and Québec have partnered with the Council to advance the environmental health and high performance economy of the entire region....

For more than 30 years, the Council’s mission has been to encourage and facilitate environmentally responsible economic growth. The Governors, through the Council, lead the nation in promoting and protecting their States’ natural resources while sustaining a world-class regional economy. Our belief is that sound environmental policy makes good economic sense..." - quoted from the Council's website

View the Council's website




Environmental Law & Policy Center - Chicago


Environmental Law & Policy Center - Chicago

Represented at WAB by Howard A. Learner

About the organization:

"The Environmental Law & Policy Center is the Midwest’s leading public interest environmental legal advocacy and eco-business innovation organization, and among the nation’s leaders. We develop and lead successful strategic advocacy campaigns to improve environmental quality and protect our natural resources. We are public interest environmental entrepreneurs who engage in creative business dealmaking with diverse interests to put into practice our belief that environmental progress and economic development can be achieved together. ELPC’s multidisciplinary staff of talented and experienced public interest attorneys, environmental business specialists, public policy advocates and communications specialists brings a strong and effective combination of skills to solve environmental problems.

ELPC’s vision embraces both smart, persuasive advocacy and sustainable development principles to win the most important environmental cases and create positive solutions to protect the environment. ELPC’s teamwork approach uses legal, economic, scientific and public policy analysis, and communications advocacy tools to produce successes. ELPC’s strategic advocacy and business dealmaking involves proposing solutions when we oppose threats to the Midwest environment. We say “yes” to better solutions; we don’t just say “no.” - quoted from ELPC's website

View the ELPC's website



City of Chicago Department of Water Management


City of Chicago Department of Water Management

Represented at WAB by Aaron Koch

About the organization:

"The Department of Water Management is responsible for delivering close to 1 billion gallons of fresh pure water to the residents of Chicago and 125 suburban communities everyday. We are also responsible for removing the waste water and storm runoff from the streets of Chicago, via our sewer system and delivering the effluent for treatment to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. This is all accomplished through a network of purification plants, tunnels, pumping stations, water mains, sewer mains, valves and structures that require constant upkeep and maintenance...

The Department of Water Management protects the public health in the most environmentally and fiscally responsible manner by delivering a sufficient supply of exceptional quality water and efficiently managing waste and storm-water. We are committed to providing the highest level of professional services to meet our customers’ needs now and for future generations.” - quoted from the department's website

View the department's website



University of Minnesota


University of Minnesota

Represented at WAB by Dr. Carissa Slotterback

About the organization:

"We are Minnesota's research university. We change lives—through research, education, and outreach...

Our 4,000 faculty include members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine, plus the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, among other bodies. Current and former faculty have won Guggenheim Fellowships, MacArthur Fellowships ("genius grants"), and Nobel Prizes. The U of M ranks 9th among public universities in research spending, with $800 million annually...

Our faculty is primed for research that crosses disciplines. The U of M is one of only four universities in the country with schools of engineering, medicine and veterinary medicine, law, and agriculture on a single campus...” - quoted from the university's website

View the university's website



Illinois Department of Natural Resources


Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Represented at WAB by Daniel Injerd

About the organization:

"[Our] Mission Statement: To manage, conserve and protect Illinois' natural, recreational and cultural resources, further the public's understanding and appreciation of those resources, and promote the education, science and public safety of Illinois' natural resources for present and future generations...

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) strongly impacts the economy of the State of Illinois. From State Parks to outdoor recreation to regulation and permitting, the economic benefits of IDNR activities reach statewide. Activities associated with IDNR support 90,000 jobs and at least $32 billion worth of economic impact annually. Click the report above to see just how important IDNR’s mission is to the economy of Illinois!

In addition, IDNR activities and functions support Illinois’ most important priorities: Protecting lives and property; Providing quality education and opportunities for all Illinois residents; Improving government efficiency and stability; Enhancing Illinoisans’ quality of life...” - quoted from the Illinois DNR's website

View the Illinois DNR's website



Michigan State University


Michigan State University

Represented at WAB by Dr. Stephen Gasteyer and Dr. Wenona Singel

About the organization:

"The nation’s pioneer land-grant university, MSU is one of the top research universities in the world. Home to nationally ranked and recognized academic, residential college, and service-learning programs, MSU is a diverse community of dedicated students and scholars, athletes and artists, scientists and leaders...

The MSU faculty who study the environment have considerable expertise and conduct research in the following areas: agricultural land management, sustainability, and decision-making; bioenergy development; coupled human and natural systems; domestic and international public opinion on the environment; environmental social movements; global environmental change; human-animal interactions; risk; sustainability; water quality and management...

[Also, regarding the Indigenous Law & Policy Center, with which Dr. Singel is affiliated]: The Indigenous Law & Policy Center is the heart of the MSU Law Indigenous Law Program. The Center has two goals: to train law students to work with Indian Country, and to provide services to institutional clients such as Indian tribes, tribal courts, and other tribal organizations on a wide variety of legal and policy questions." - quoted from MSU's website

View MSU's website


Natural Resources Defense Council


Natural Resources Defense Council

Represented at WAB by Henry L. Henderson

About the organization:

"NRDC is the nation's most effective environmental action group, combining the grassroots power of 1.4 million members and online activists with the courtroom clout and expertise of more than 350 lawyers, scientists and other professionals.

The New York Times calls us "One of the nation's most powerful environmental groups." The National Journal says we're "A credible and forceful advocate for stringent environmental protection."

Our dedicated staff work with businesses, elected leaders, and community groups on the biggest issues we face today. Our priorities include: Curbing Global Warming and Creating the Clean Energy Future; Reviving the World's Oceans; Defending Endangered Wildlife and Wild Places; Protecting Our Health by Preventing Pollution; [and] Ensuring Safe and Sufficient Water Fostering Sustainable Communities..." - quoted from NRDC's website

View NRDC's website



Alliance for the Great Lakes


Alliance for the Great Lakes

Represented at WAB by Dr. Olga Lyandres and Lyman Welch

About the organization:

"The Alliance is the oldest Great Lakes organization devoted 100 percent to the lakes. Our professional staff works with scientists, policymakers, businesses, community groups and everyday citizens to protect and restore the world's largest surface freshwater resource.

From forging forward-looking Great Lakes policies to promoting Great Lakes education to on-the-ground efforts to improve thousands of miles of Great Lakes shoreline, we've been out front and behind the scenes caring for the lakes since 1970.

...Our mission at the Alliance for the Great Lakes is to conserve and restore the world's largest freshwater resource using policy, education and local efforts, ensuring a healthy Great Lakes and clean water for generations of people and wildlife..." - quoted from the Alliance's website

View Alliance's website



Friends of the Chicago River


Friends of the Chicago River

Represented at WAB by Margaret Frisbie

About the organization:

"Since 1979, Friends has been working to improve the health of the Chicago River for the benefit of people and wildlife; and by doing so, has laid the foundation for the river to be a beautiful, continuous, and easily accessible corridor of open space in the Chicago region.

Friends’ work spans the entire 156-mile Chicago River system and its surrounding watershed. We focus on a greener river with healthy habitat, an accessible river that people can use and enjoy, and a river cared for by a broad group of supporters.

Friends works in partnership with municipalities, businesses, community groups, schools, peer organizations, government agencies and individuals on projects that benefit the river.

We believe the river can be both ecologically healthy and a catalyst for community revitalization...." - quoted from the Friends website

View Friends' website



University of Wisconsin - Madison


University of Wisconsin - Madison

Represented at WAB by Dr. Samer Alatout

About the organization:

"In achievement and prestige, the University of Wisconsin–Madison has long been recognized as one of America's great universities. A public, land-grant institution, UW–Madison offers a complete spectrum of liberal arts studies, professional programs and student activities. [The campus spans] 936 acres along the southern shore of Lake Mendota...

UW–Madison ranks as one of the most prolific research universities in the world. Driven by a desire to both explore new worlds and to apply new ideas to real-world problems, research at UW–Madison isn't conducted only by faculty, staff and graduate students. Undergraduate research opportunities also are fostered, making research a truly campuswide enterprise...

The Nelson Institute's Center for Culture, History, and Environment (CHE) [of which Dr. Alatout is a part] draws together faculty, staff, graduate students, and others from a wide array of disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences to investigate environmental and cultural change in the full sweep of human history.

- quoted from UW's website

View UW's website




LVEJO


Little Village Environmental Justice Organization

Represented at WAB by Dr. Antonio R. Lopez

About the organization:

"LVEJO was founded in 1994 by public school parents who learned about the potential exposure of their children to dangerous particles during school renovations at Joseph E. Gary Elementary. After forcing the school administration to change their plans, these parents turned their attention to other issues of environmental justice in Little Village...

After twenty years working for environmental justice in Little Village, LVEJO continues to organize for a healthier community in Little Village and beyond. Building upon the successful clean power, public transit, and open space campaigns LVEJO remains committed to organizing with those most impacted by industrialization and climate change...

The mission of LVEJO is to organize with our community to accomplish environmental justice in Little Village and achieve the self-determination of immigrant, low-income, and working-class families. Our vision is to build a sustainable community that promotes the healthy development of youth and families, provides economic justice, and practices participatory democracy and self-determination. LVEJO’s theory of social change is centered upon the belief that when low income and people of color understand the root causes of their experiences of oppression, they have the power and agency to transform society. LVEJO’s grassroots organizing model is grounded in three guiding principles: 1) intergenerational leadership that sustains community self-determination, 2) it assumes that those directly affected have the solutions to solve their own problems; and 3) it builds upon the existing assets and resources of the community for social change..."

- quoted from LVEJO's website

View LVEJO's website



Delta


Delta Institute

Represented at WAB by Ryan Anderson and William Schleizer

About the organization:

"Delta Institute is a nonprofit organization with program work across its three strategic priority areas: energy, ecosystems and waste. To help demonstrate the market potential of sustainable businesses, Delta creates and manages innovative social enterprises, including the P2E2 Center, a for-profit carbon credit trading platform, the Revere LLC, a for-profit energy efficiency lender, and the Rebuilding Exchange, a nonprofit materials reuse store...

Delta is working to create a win-win alternative to “business as usual” by reimagining how we use and value our energy resources in the Great Lakes region by: 1) Galvanizing business and industry to be energy leaders through our Chicago Green Office Challenge, which engaged over 250 businesses in 2013; 2) Designing creative and replicable programs, like the Chicago Neighborhood Energy Challenge, to engage communities to adopt new energy behaviors; [and] 3) Helping iconic buildings like the Merchandise Mart achieve LEED Gold certification, proving that even the world’s largest commercial building can go green...

Delta is working to help individuals, businesses and communities become stewards of our air, land, and water by: 1) Promoting models for better agricultural practices, like the innovative pay-for-performance model we are testing with farmers in the Milwaukee River Watershed; 2) Implementing green infrastructure projects, like the planting of over 3,000 poplar trees in Muskegon, MI, to remediate soil and offer economic value once trees are harvested; [and] 3) Convening stakeholder dialogues to develop community-driven environmental stewardship plans and to share best practices, like green infrastructure planning work in Michigan City, Indiana...

Delta is working to identify unrealized opportunities in the waste stream and prove the business case in transforming waste from an environmental liability to an economic asset. We do this by: 1) Creating social ventures that build sustainable markets, like Chicago’s Rebuilding Exchange — a materials reuse warehouse that has diverted 10,000 tons of valuable material from landfill and provides job training to hard-to-employ workers; 2) Demonstrating the environmental and economic benefits of sustainable waste management practices, like deconstruction — deconstructing eight homes in Greater Detroit brought 45,000 board feet of reclaimed lumber to market and resulted in 3,000 hours of labor for local workers; [and] 3) Turning regional environmental challenges into economic opportunities, like our work to identify market opportunities to utilize wood from trees damaged by storms or invasive species..."

- quoted from Delta's website

View Delta's website