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Mar 08 2021

Wisconsin Water Week

Conservation Corner is a weekly article produced by the Forest County Land &Water Conservation Department. For more information contact Steve Kircher, County Conservationist-Land Information/GIS Director at 715-478-1387 or by e-mail at lcc@co.forest.wi.us.

As you’re reading this week’s article, I’ll be at the Wisconsin Water Week Convention, ‘virtually’.  Wisconsin Water Week 2021, is a virtual interactive online event. 

 “The event is really of unprecedented scope in Wisconsin for bringing together professionals, government officials and the general public to learn and discuss water and water issues in our state,” said Mike Engleson, executive director of Wisconsin Lakes and Rivers Convention.

For more than 30 years the convention annually has been a gathering of water lovers of all stripes, including lake and river stewards and other leaders. Co-sponsors include the Wisconsin DNR, UW-Stevens Point and UW-Stout.

Speakers include climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe, former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, and Marissa Jablonski, executive director of the Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin at UW-Milwaukee.

The first ever Wisconsin Water Week will feature 3 days of content-rich presentations and panels on Monday-Wednesday.

Monday will emphasize “Water Cycles,” including groundwater and climate, the two largest but mostly invisible pieces of our shared water inheritance.

Tuesday will explore “Water Bodies,” delving into the science of monitoring and managing lakes, rivers, wetlands, and watersheds, and evaluating their health. This includes the flora and fauna in and around these water bodies and how they interact.

Wednesday will focus on “Water Actions,” featuring examples and stories from the field that demonstrate how people and communities are tackling water challenges – even during these turbulent times. 

On Thursday March 11, how people and communities tackle water challenges is featured at about a dozen regionally-focused sessions anchored by Red Cedar Watershed Basin in western Wisconsin, which has been sponsoring its own conference for the past 10 years. Keynote speakers at the Red Cedar event are Tia Nelson, managing director of climate at Outrider in Madison, Adam Reimer of the National Wildlife Federation, and Judith Schwartz, author and journalist.

Friday is designed to be a day of action, with local events (in person, if possible) including workshops, trainings, and field trips, most organized by your local groups.

Cost for the statewide event titled Navigating in Turbulent Times, is $20 per day. Each regional event retains the registration fee, Engleson said.

Engleson said the registration site that contains the convention’s agenda and speakers list is: https://wisconsin.swoogo.com/wisconsinwaterweek/873597or go to wisconsinlakes.org.