Law School hosts ‘Water Policy in the Chicago Megacity: Past, Present, and Future,’ Oct. 14 

The Marquette University Law School Water Law and Policy Initiative will host an online event titled “Water Policy in the Chicago Megacity: Past, Present, and Future,” on Thursday, Oct. 14, from 9 a.m. to noon. 

Register via Eventbrite. The event is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required. Registrants will receive a detailed agenda and participation link the day before the event. 

The discussion will focus on aspects of the past, present and future of water policy in the “Chicago Megacity”— the region stretching from the Milwaukee area, across metropolitan Chicago and into northwest Indiana. The event is presented in partnership with Current’s Chicago Water Week 2021. It will cover some of the issues that Milwaukee, Chicago and other cities in the Megacity face together, including: 

  • The Past: An exploration of the history of the internationally acclaimed Chicago lakefront, with a focus on the effect of the American public trust doctrine and a comparison to corresponding developments presented in Milwaukee 
  • The Present: An examination of the Megacity region’s water infrastructure crisis, of its effects on our most vulnerable communities and of the infrastructure bill pending in Congress 
  • The Future: A discussion of the Megacity region’s readiness for the damage that climate change is expected to inflict on the Great Lakes region, and of the prediction that the climate crisis will cause mass migration toward the relatively cooler temperatures and abundant freshwater supply in the upper Midwest. 

Participants include: 

  • Mandela Barnes, Lt. Governor, State of Wisconsin, and Chair of the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change 
  • Susan Ekoh, climate adaptation fellow at the American Society of Adaptation Professionals 
  • Mike Gousha, distinguished fellow in law and public policy 
  • Coauthors of ‘Lakefront: Public Trust and Private Rights in Chicago’ (Cornell Univ. Press 2021), Joseph D. Kearney, dean and professor of law, and Thomas W. Merrill, Charles Evans Hughes Professor, Columbia Law School 
  • Edith Makra, director of environmental initiatives for the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, and co-lead author of ‘Climate Action Plan for the Chicago Region’ 
  • Cory Mason, Mayor, City of Racine, Wisconsin 
  • Laura Rubin, director of Healing Our Waters/Great Lakes Coalition 
  • Rep. Jan Schakowsky, United States Congresswoman representing the 9th District of Illinois 
  • David Strifling, director of the Water Law and Policy Initiative
  • Drew Williams-Clark, managing director of Urban Resilience at the Center for Neighborhood Technology 

View a full list of all Chicago Water Week events via Eventbrite