Marquette Law School, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to host 'Lake Michigan and the Chicago Megacity in the 21st Century'

April 9, 2018

MILWAUKEE — Marquette University Law School and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel will host a half-day conference, "Lake Michigan and the Chicago Megacity in the 21st Century," on Tuesday, April 17, beginning at 8 a.m. in the Lubar Center at Eckstein Hall.

The Law School and the Journal Sentinel have previously partnered to explore the "Chicago megacity" — the region stretching from the Milwaukee area, across metropolitan Chicago, and into northwest Indiana — on a range of issues including economic development, transportation and education. In this conference, the focus of those efforts will expand to water.

A 2012 report on the Chicago megacity from the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development found that some of the region's greatest advantages lie in its access to and expertise in water, as it is home to the top water-related technology and research cluster in the United States. But in the years since, water-related competition or outright disagreement has sometimes prevailed over cooperation, and the resource is under increasing strain. This conference will explore the future of the Chicago Megacity's relationship with water, including the challenges and opportunities the region faces. This requires a special focus on interactions with Lake Michigan, the dominant geographic feature of the region.

Participants from a variety of disciplines will discuss topics such as the Chicago megacity's responsibility to protect Lake Michigan from various threats, whether and how Lake Michigan should be used as a tool for economic development in the region, and the challenge of delivering a safe and reliable water supply.

The conference's primary organizers are:

  • David Strifling, Director, Water Law and Policy Initiative, Marquette University Law School
  • David Haynes, Editorial Page Editor, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Participants include:

  • Dean Amhaus, President & CEO, The Water Council
  • Peter Annin, Co-Director of the Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation, Northland College
  • Tricia Braun, Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
  • Randy Conner, Commissioner, City of Chicago Department of Water Management
  • Molly Flanagan, Vice President for Policy, Alliance for the Great Lakes
  • Charles Franklin, Professor of Law and Public Policy and Director, Marquette Law School Poll
  • Steve Frenkel, Executive Director, Chicago Current
  • Jennifer Gonda, Superintendent, Milwaukee Water Works
  • Mike Gousha, Distinguished Fellow in Law and Public Policy, Marquette University Law School
  • Rachel Havrelock, Associate Professor of English and Director, The Freshwater Lab, University of Illinois-Chicago
  • Jeanne Hossenlopp, Vice President for Research and Innovation and Professor of Chemistry, Marquette University
  • Michael R. Lovell, President, Marquette University
  • Sandra McLellan, Professor, School of Freshwater Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Bob Schwartz, Senior Policy Advisor, Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest

Through public programming such as the Marquette Law School Poll, debates featuring candidates in significant political races, Gousha's "On the Issues" conversations with newsmakers, public lectures by leading scholars and conferences on significant issues of public importance, the Law School serves as the region's leading venue for serious civil discourse about law and public policy matters.

The event is at capacity for members of the general public; registration for a waiting list is available online. Members of the media who are interested in attending should contact Chris Jenkins in the Office of Marketing and Communication.