UW, DNR partner to create ‘Wisconsin Water Week’

Metro Wire Staff

Learn about conserving Wisconsin’s waterways, from local wetlands to the Great Lakes, during the first public water conference held through UW-Stevens Point’s Extension Lakes program.

The 2021 Wisconsin Water Week conference, “Navigating in Turbulent Times,” will be held March 8-12, live and online, with nearly 300 researchers, managers, and educators sharing the latest information and ideas to keep Wisconsin waters healthy.

“This is a week of inspiring content and connections among water lovers,” said Eric Olson, director of Extension Lakes. “Participants will interact with different experts in water-related fields. In addition to getting answers to their water questions, they’ll know that they are not alone in their work to take care of lakes, rivers, groundwater, and drinking water.”

Keynote speakers Monday through Wednesday mornings will be followed by interactive afternoons with live panel presentations and small group discussions. Thursday will have a regional focus and Friday a local focus.

The conference builds on momentum from the last two years, including the Wisconsin Assembly Speaker’s Task Force on Water Quality and the Governor’s Year of Clean Drinking Water in 2019, Olson said. “This event will highlight many bipartisan water strategies we can explore and implement.”

Registration is open at wisconsinlakes.org at a cost of $20 per day. The registration site includes the entire week’s agenda, and many Friday events are free. While early registration is encouraged, people can sign up at any point during the event.

Themes for the week include:

· Monday – Water Cycles, with a focus on climate and groundwater.
Keynote speaker Katharine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist whose research focuses on understanding what climate change means for people and places, will integrate social science and climate research to avoid the worst consequences of climate change.

Tuesday – Water Bodies, with a focus on monitoring and managing lakes, rivers, wetlands and watersheds, and plants and animals they support.
Keynote speakers will be former Wisconsin Governor Tommy G. Thompson, now president of the UW System, and Marissa Jablonski, executive director of the new Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin based at UW-Milwaukee. They will explain how all UW System campuses are contributing to water management solutions.

Wednesday – Water Actions, with stories that demonstrate how people and communities are tackling water challenges.
Keynote speaker is Patty Loew, a longtime journalist on Wisconsin Public Television who is now co-director of Northwestern University’s Center for Native American and Indigenous Research. A lunchtime presentation will highlight new water science policy fellowships that leverage the research capabilities of UW Madison to help state agencies like the Wisconsin DNR.

Thursday – Programming built around the major watersheds in the state, with simultaneous place-based, regional conferences that explore issues and solutions specific to each area.

Friday – Local events and meetings to create action plans for spring and summer 2021, held online or in person.

Extension Lakes is a statewide outreach program based in UW-Stevens Point’s College of Natural Resources. The program plans the conference with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin Lakes, and the UW Madison Division of Extension.

error: Alert: Content is protected !!