Join us for the 2020 Chicago River Summit

River Summit speakers (left to right) Mollie Dowling, Kevin Shafer, Palencia Mobley, Mary Pat McGuire. Not pictured, Adam Flickinger.

Summit speakers will delve into how they created more resilient cities by developing and employing nature-based stormwater management approaches to reduce impacts on their communities and natural resources.

Featured Speakers at the 2020 Chicago River Summit in order of appearance include:

  • Kevin Shafer, Executive Director, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District
  • Mary Pat McGuire, Landscape Architecture Professor, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
  • Mollie Dowling, Executive Director, OAI, Inc.
  • Adam Flickinger, Planning Director, Friends of the Chicago River
  • Palencia Mobley, Deputy Director & Chief Engineer, Detroit Water and Sewerage Department 

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The Summit will explore how government agencies across the nation are creating policy initiatives to spur the implementation and prioritization of green infrastructure (GI). GI is a nature-based solution that can supplement gray infrastructure and offers numerous additional benefits. In dense, urban centers, GI helps withstand the climate crisis and reduce the urban heat island effect. It also increases infiltration and filters runoff, which reduces the flow of pollutants into the river system. Every $1 invested in river corridor stormwater management provides a $1.77 in economic return, according to a 2019 study prepared by Friends and the University of Wisconsin Whitewater. Access to the natural environment also improves quality of life, mental well-being, and physical health for residents. Native habitat zones, even small ones, support native flora and fauna and substantially improve the migration opportunities for wildlife.

Thank you to our 2020 Chicago River Summit sponsors: Perkins and Will, Antero Group, Ecoturf Midwest Inc., Hey and Associates, Inc., and SWCA.