Scientists Gather Around State’s Surface and Groundwater
About 200 water scientists from around the state representing government, academic and private organizations attended the 35th meeting of the Wisconsin Section of the American Water Resources Association, held in Appleton on March 3 and 4. The theme of this year’s conference was Wisconsin’s Role in Great Lakes Restoration, and the conference’s three keynote speakers, Cameron Davis, Steve Galarneau, and Greg Kleinheinz, addressed this topic from federal, state and local perspectives.
“We’re trying to coordinate our efforts better and forge a new level of care toward the Great Lakes,” said Davis who is the senior advisor to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator on the Great Lakes.
About 60 presentations were delivered around the themes of Great Lakes issues, biological and chemical contamination of surface and groundwater, hydrologic modeling, agricultural management, climate change and watershed and wetland management.
Roger Bannerman, who has served as a water quality specialist at the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for more than 30 years, received the group’s Distinguished Service Award for his work in rural and urban nonpoint source pollution control.
The meeting was co-sponsored by the UW Water Resources Institute, Center for Watershed Science and Education at UW–Stevens Point, DNR, Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, and the Wisconsin District of the U.S. Geological Survey.
Fishing Tournaments Will be Ground Zero in AIS Fight
Sportsmen at fishing tournaments earn bragging rights and pick up prizes. Through the coming season’s competitive events, they’ll also be picking up aquatic invasive species (AIS) information. This is thanks to an effort led by Wisconsin Sea Grant, which is teaming up with the other seven Great Lakes Sea Grant programs and four professional sportsmen’s groups. These forces will spread the word about how to stop the spread of species that can mess up a favorite fishing hole.
Throughout the season, the angler group members will speak from tournament stages, at thousands of seminars, in guide boats and wherever they travel.
“AIS messages will also be incorporated into youth fishing clinics. Solidifying those messages at an early age will pay off in future fishing years,” said Phil Moy, Wisconsin Sea Grant’s AIS outreach specialist. “We really value the cooperation from the national angler groups and are pleased that aquatic invasive species prevention is endorsed by these groups.”
The National Professional Anglers Association is a participating sportsmen’s group. Executive Director Pat Neu said, “We will make educational materials available to our members to help them understand and explain the severity of the invasive species problem.” One way the group has already done that is through a special all-member training session in January.
The other groups involved in this initiative are the Masters Walleye Circuit, The Bass Federation and Wildlife Forever.