April 14, 2015
STEVENS POINT, Wis. -- Nearly 500 researchers, resource managers, community leaders and citizens are expected to attend the 2015 Wisconsin Lakes Partnership Convention meeting set for April 23-25 at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Stevens Point.
"The meeting highlights all the ways that healthy watersheds support healthy lakes and people while offering an important opportunity for the Department of Natural Resources to connect with stakeholders and researchers from across the state," said Carroll Schaal, DNR's lakes and river section chief.
DNR staff will present workshops explaining the state's new Healthy Lakes initiative, an effort to encourage more shoreland property owners to take actions that protect water quality and restore lake habitat. Other half-day workshops offered on Thursday and Saturday will help citizens tackle erosion control projects, manage volunteers, monitor loons and control invasive species. The event features speakers from lake management districts, state and local government agencies, several University of Wisconsin System campuses and private citizens.
Friday events include 24 conference sessions covering a range of lake issues, from watershed management to pier regulations. DNR resource managers will share insights into lake health at both the small and grand scale. Gina LaLiberte, a DNR senior scientist, will help people learn to identify blue-green algae and what to do when these harmful bacteria are found. Daniela Gurlin, also a senior scientist with the department, will share the most recent DNR research that uses satellite images to measure the health of thousands of Wisconsin lakes.
Eric Olson, director of UW-Extension's lake education efforts, said the Saturday agenda is tailored to help bring new lake stakeholders into the partnership.
"Saturday's program includes more introductory material and we minimized the cost to participate for that day so that more people can attend," Olson said.
Saturday also will feature Marion Stoddart, founder of the Nashua River Watershed Association in Massachusetts, who will give the morning keynote lecture. Stoddart became involved in cleaning up waterways in the early 1960s and more than 50 fifty years later, her efforts have helped transform the Nashua River from one of the nation's most polluted into a candidate for federal Scenic and Wild River designation.
The Lakes Partnership Convention is organized by DNR, UW-Extension Lakes (part of the UW-Stevens Point College of Natural Resources) and the nonprofit group Wisconsin Lakes.
Walk-ins are welcome for Friday and Saturday morning sessions. Registration is required for workshops and tours on Thursday and Saturday. Pricing options depend on the days and sessions attended.
To register and find a full schedule of events and descriptions, go to www.uwsp.edu/uwexlakes (exit DNR).
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Carroll Schaal, DNR lakes and rivers section chief, 608-261-6423, email@example.com; Eric Olson, Director, UW-Extension Lakes, 715-346-2192, firstname.lastname@example.org; Jennifer Sereno, DNR communications, 608-770-8084, email@example.com