"Water Policy in the Chicago Megacity” to be topic of Marquette Law water policy conference Oct. 14

Oct. 7, 2021

Chicago Water Week 2021MILWAUKEE — Marquette University Law School will host “Water Policy in the Chicago Megacity: Past, Present, and Future,” a virtual conference presented in partnership with Current’s Chicago Water Week 2021, Thursday, Oct. 14, from 9 a.m. until noon.

The conference will focus on 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. “Water Policy in the Chicago Megacity” builds on past Marquette Law School conferences about the Chicago Megacity, across a range of issues including water, transportation, education, and economic development.

Registration for the conference is free and available online. An archive of the event will be available on the Marquette Law School YouTube channel.

Regional experts will discuss:

  • 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-related bills 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:

  • Gov. Mandela Barnes of Wisconsin, chair of the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change
  • U.S. Rep Jan Schakowsky, representing the 9th District of Illinois
  • Mayor Cory Mason of Racine, Wisconsin
  • Susan Ekoh, Climate Adaptation Fellow with the American Society of Adaptation Professionals
  • Mike Gousha, distinguished fellow in law and public policy at Marquette Law School
  • Joseph D. Kearney, dean and professor of law at Marquette Law School, and Thomas W. Merrill, Charles Evans Hughes Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, co-authors of “Lakefront: Public Trust and Private Rights in Chicago”
  • Edith Makra, director of Environmental Initiatives for Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, and co-lead author of its Climate Action Plan for the Chicago Region
  • Laura Rubin, Director of Healing Our Waters/Great Lakes Coalition
  • David Strifling, Director of the Water Law and Policy Initiative at Marquette Law School
  • Drew Williams-Clark, managing director - urban resilience for the Center for Neighborhood Technology

Current was launched in partnership with the City of Chicago, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, World Business Chicago, and the region’s research universities. It exists to be a catalyst for cleaner water by monitoring and evaluating new ideas and technology in water management. It also builds partnerships among individuals, government, nonprofits, businesses, and researchers who are willing to take rational risks to try out new solutions and strengthen the blue economy through events and outreach that help to build a strong and coherent network of water leaders.

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, conferences on issues of public significance, and the work of its Lubar Center for Public Policy Research and Civic Education, Marquette Law School serves as the region’s leading venue for civil discourse about law and public policy matters.

About Kevin Conway

Kevin Conway

Kevin is the associate director for university communication in the Office of University Relations. Contact Kevin at (414) 288-4745 or kevin.m.conway@marquette.edu