Watershed Summit draws 120 participants

What is a watershed? How can you plan and manage the land in a watershed – either rural or urban — to improve the cleanliness and purity of the water that flows off it? How do you track and measure your results?

About 120 people attended Watershed Summit 2011: Managing Water on the Land from a Watershed Perspective, a daylong conference hosted Saturday, March 12, by the Minnesota Division of the Izaak Walton League and the Freshwater Society.

More than a dozen speakers offered insights and practical experience on ways local governments, state and local agencies and individual citizens can work to improve water quality in Minnesota.

Groups represented by the speakers included: the Minnehaha Creek, Buffalo Red River, Bois De Sioux  and Capitol Region watershed districts; the Scott County Soil and Conservation District; the University of Minnesota; the Nature Conservancy, the Minnesota Center for  Environmental Advocacy; the Agricultural Water Resources Coaliton; Clean Up the River Environment; the Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Tom Davenport, a national expert and on nonpoint-source pollution and an agricultural adviser for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Chicago, delivered the keynote address, titled “Managing Nutrients from the Headwaters to the Gulf.” View slides from Davenport’s address.

Click on the names of the other speakers to view slides or video they used in their presentations:

  • Louis Smith,water resource attorney: “Thinking watershed — in every sense of the word.”
  • James Wisker, Minnehaha Creek Watershed District chief planner.
  • Shawn Tracy, landscape restoration ecologist with Metro Conservation Districts — “Urban Subwatershed Assessments.”
  • Bruce Albright, administrator of the Buffalo Red River Watershed District — “Rural Watershed Management.”
  • Andy Erickson, Research fellow, University of Minnesota St. Anthony Falls Laboratory — “Identify and Prioritize Treatment Solutions” and “Measuring Results.”
  • Henry VanOffelen, Natural Resource Scientist, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy — “Watershed-Based Mangement in the Red River Basin: Achieving flood damage reduction and natural resource enhancement.”
  • Jerome Deal, Bois de Sioux Watershed Board of Managers.
  • Patrick Moore, Clean Up the River Environment; and Warren Formo, Minnesota Agricultural Water Resources Coalition
  • Troy Kuphal, district manager for the Scott County Soil and Water Conservation District — “Prioritizing and Targeting Rural Projects.”
  • Rich Biske, Southeast Minnesota conservation coordinator for the Nature Conservancy — “NGOs Supporting Watershed Conservation: The Nature Conservancy Example.”
  • Melissa Baker, Water resources technician for the Capitol Region Watershed District. — “Stormwater BMP Performance, Assessments and Cost-benefit Analysis.”
  • Shawn Tracy, landscape restoration ecologist with the Metro Conservation Districts. “Subwatershed stormwater Retrofit Analysis.”
  • Gaylen Reetz, Director, regional division, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. — “Goals of PCA for Clean Water Council programs.
  • Dave Leuthe, acting deputy director, Minnesota DNR Division of Ecological and Water Resources. — “Goals of DNR for Clean Water Council Programs.”
  • Marilyn Bernhardson, water resource technician for Capitol Region Watershed Distrct. — “Clean Water Council: Budget recommendations process.”
  • Jean Coleman, attorney, consultant, land-use planner. Project coordinator for the Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework. — “Planning Far into the Future: The Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework.”


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