Sessions and Chairs

Please scroll down for a description of each session and contact information for session chairs.

Great Lakes Beach Association Annual Meeting

Session 1 - Developing, implementing, and communicating the use of predictive and rapid tools at beaches

Session 2 - Beach remediation and monitoring success stories

Session 3 - Challenges for beach managers in 2013 and beyond

Session 4 - Investigating and managing the physical and hydrological aspects of beaches

Session 5 - Identifying sources and managing fecal contamination

Lake Michigan Stressors, Monitoring and Predictive Tools

Session 6 - Progress on Lake Michigan Areas of Concern

Session 7 - Contaminant trends and health advice in Lake Michigan fish

Session 8 - Lake Michigan monitoring and coastal assessment programs

Session 9 - It's not just a document anymore: Online resources for Lakewide Action Management Planning

Fisheries, Wildlife and Invasive Species

Session 10 - Coastal habitats and Lake Michigan biodiversity

Session 11 - Lake Michigan fisheries

Session 12 - Aquatic invasive species and the Lake Michigan food web

Watersheds, Nutrients and Hypoxia

Session 13 - Nuisance algae and nutrient dynamics in the nearshore zone

Session 14 - Green Bay hypoxia

Session 15 - Lake Michigan basin TMDLs and phosphorus management

Vibrant and Resilient Coastal Communities

Session 16 - Learning to live with coastal hazards

Session 17 - Sustainable coastal communities

Session 18 - Harbors, working waterfronts and recreation

Poster Session

The poster session will be held on the evening of Oct. 16, but posters may remain displayed throughout the entire conference. Abstracts are required for poster papers.

Session Descriptions

Great Lakes Beach Association Annual Meeting

Session 1 - Developing, implementing, and communicating the use of predictive and rapid tools at beaches
Chairs: Meredith Nevers, Research Ecologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center, (219) 926-8336, mnevers@usgs.gov
David Rockwell, MS, MBA, Beach Water Quality Forecasting Coordinator, Center of Excellence for Great Lakes and Human Health, Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research, University of Michigan, dcrockwe@umich.edu, Home Office Tel.  (630) 219-3537

Beach managers across the Great Lakes continue to explore the use of rapid methods for estimating beach water quality and reporting it to the public because traditional bacteria monitoring techniques are not meeting their needs.  Among the rapid methods being explored, empirical predictive models use measurements of hydrometeorological conditions to predict high bacteria events. Molecular analytical methods have also been developed that measure bacteria concentrations in a fraction of the time required for bacteria culturing. Additional, novel approaches to estimating public health risk are also being explored. Beach managers around the Great Lakes are testing the effectiveness of these methods for providing real-time results to protect public health better. In this session, we will review research, policy, and management experiences with developing, improving, implementing, and communicating rapid methods for the detection of human sewage contamination. 

Session 2 - Beach remediation and monitoring success stories
Chairs: Greg Kleinheinz, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, kleinhei@uwosh.edu
Julie Kinzelman, Ph.D., MT (ASCP), Research Scientist/Lab Director, City of Racine Health Department, (262) 636-9501, julie.kinzelman@cityofracine.org

Since the release of significant federal funding to local communities and agencies working on their behalf, pollution sources adversely impacting recreational water quality within the Great Lakes have been identified. Many local beaches have undergone significant remediation to improve water quality, public access, utility, and aesthetics, in many cases also restoring coastal habitat as a result. In this session, pollution source identification, remediation and restoration success stories will be highlighted as a means of demonstrating the on the ground effectiveness of the beach sanitary survey process.

Session 3 - Challenges for beach managers in 2013 and beyond
Chair: Shannon Briggs, Ph.D., Surface Water Quality Division, Water Bureau, Michigan Depart. of Environmental Quality, (517) 284-5526, briggss4@michigan.gov

Get first-hand information about the new recreational water quality standards for traditional and rapid methods, how they apply to Great Lakes beaches, federal funding to support monitoring, how beach data are used, and how Adopt-a-Beach™ volunteers improve beaches.

Session 4 - Investigating and managing the physical and hydrological aspects of beaches
Chair: Clare Robinson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Western University, crobinson@eng.uwo.ca

Many beaches of the Great Lakes have undergone significant physical and hydrological degradation during the past several years, including loss of sand and dunes, increased wet conditions, appearance of springs, increased nutrient levels, and appearance of invasive vegetation. There is a need to understand the factors causing degradation of the beaches and how these problems can be addressed. This session will cover topics including (i) dune and beach formation, protection and restoration; (ii) role of groundwater, waves and currents on beach ecosystems and recreational water quality; and  (iii) bio-geochemistry and nutrient cycling in the beach environment.

Session 5 - Identifying sources and managing fecal contamination 
Chairs: Michael Sadowsky, Ph.D., Distinguished McKnight Professor, Dept. of Soil, Water, and Climate; and BioTechnology Institute, University of Minnesota, (612) 624-2706, sadowsky@uwm.edu
Julie Kinzelman, Ph.D., MT (ASCP), Research Scientist/Lab Director, City of Racine Health Department, (262) 636-9501, julie.kinzelman@cityofracine.org
 

Over the last several years, determination of sources and sinks of fecal bacteria on beaches and in waterways has been facilitated by the development of molecular and other tools. In some cases, this has allowed beach managers to reduce contamination sources and eliminate or curtail closures. These technologies , however, have also shown us that many fecal indicator bacteria are widespread in the environment and may be difficult to mitigate. This session will focus on the use microbial source tracking technologies to determine the origins of many fecal pollutants and means in which we can manage beach contamination and reduce closures.

Lake Michigan Stressors, Monitoring and Predictive Tools

Session 6 - Progress on Lake Michigan Areas of Concern
Chair: John Perrecone, Area Of Concern Program, U.S. EPA, Great Lakes National Program Office, (312) 353-1149 (Office), (630) 388-9997 (Mobile), perrecone.john@epa.gov

One of the three major priorities in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is to clean up AOCs and to remove Beneficial Use Impairments to show environmental progress in the Great Lakes Basin. The Lake Michigan basin has been a focal point for this work over the last four years and this session will discuss how cleanup priorities are set, the level of effort needed to delist AOCs and the actual projects that have taken place leading to delisting.

Session 7 - Contaminant trends and health advice in Lake Michigan fish
Chairs: Jacqueline Fisher, U.S. EPA, Great Lakes National Program Office, (312) 353-1481, fisher.jacqueline@epa.gov
Elizabeth Murphy, U.S. EPA, Great Lakes National Program Office, (312) 353-4227, murphy.elizabeth@epa.gov 

This session will focus on trends of legacy and emerging contaminants in Lake Michigan Fish and their environment and on the status and changes of Fish Consumption advisories. Relationships between environmental monitoring and Human Health advice will be highlighted and a special emphasis on recommendations for action.

Session 8 - Lake Michigan monitoring and coastal assessment programs
Chairs: Lisa Fogarty, Supervisory Hydrologist, MI Water Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, (517) 887-8968, lrfogart@usgs.gov
Charlie Peters, Director, WI Water Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, (608) 821-3810, capeters@usgs.gov

Coordinating monitoring and assessment programs is integral to understanding the coastal/nearshore interface. This session will feature presentations that describe how monitoring and coastal assessment programs are being used to better understand coastal/nearshore processes. 

Session 9 - It’s not just a document anymore: Online resources for Lakewide Action Management Planning
Chairs: Jeff Edstrom, Environmental Consulting and Technology, Inc. jedstrom@ectinc.com 
David Hart, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute,(608) 262-6515,
dhart@aqua.wisc.edu

The Lakewide Action Management Plan (LAMP) was originally developed as a conventional plan that totaled 750 pages. Every two years, updates ranging from 100 to 300 pages were added. Over time, it has also developed into a web-based resource that provides guidance for planning and action , but also more effectively links to other agency resources available on the web. This panel will focus on the innovative web-based resources that are being used and developed to advance a more interactive approach to Lakewide Action Management Planning.

Fisheries, Wildlife and Invasive Species

Session 10 - Coastal habitats and Lake Michigan biodiversity
Chair: Matt Preisser, Lake Coordinator, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Office of the Great Lakes, (517) 335-0061, preisserm@michigan.gov

The Lake Michigan basin is blessed with a diversity of native species and natural communities.  Rare plants and animals and unique coastal habitats such as wetlands and dunes are part of the character of the lake.  The health and long-term viability of these species and habitats are facing a multitude of stressors.  This session invites presentations which describe progress (including both successes and challenges) towards assessing, monitoring, protecting and restoring native species and natural habitats in the coastal zone (both mainland and islands) and open waters of the lake.  Presentations should seek to illustrate the ecosystem services benefits derived from your project.  This session encourages abstracts demonstrating implementation of strategies outlined in the Lake Michigan Biodiversity Conservation Strategy (see “Michigami: Great Water, Strategies to Conserve the Biodiversity of Lake Michigan”).

Session 11 - Lake Michigan fisheries
Chair: Dave Caroffino, Ph.D., Fisheries Biologist, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, (231) 547-2914 ext. 232, caroffinod@michigan.gov

The fish and wildlife resources of Lake Michigan are diverse and intensely managed. Some native fish species have adapted to the changing conditions within the lake (e.g., whitefish), while others have not and now have recovery plans in place (e.g., lake trout and lake sturgeon). Introduced species, such as Pacific salmonids, now serve a critical function both ecologically and economically. Waterfowl, waterbirds, and other wildlife species are an important link between the aquatic and terrestrial components of the lake ecosystem and can provide further evidence as to the health of the environment. Presentations that document the status and management or recovery plans for the lake’s diverse fish and wildlife resources are encouraged.

Session 12 - Aquatic invasive species and the Lake Michigan food web
Chair: David “Bo” Bunnell, Ph.D., Research Fishery Biologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Western Basin Ecosystems Branch, Lake Michigan Section, (734) 214-9324, dbunnell@usgs.gov

Aquatic invasive species have infiltrated multiple trophic levels and habitats of Lake Michigan, from quagga mussels consuming phytoplankton in the benthos, to spiny water flea consuming small zooplankton in the pelagia, to sea lamprey parasitizing large fish throughout the lake.  This session invites talks that describe preventative measures to stop the introduction new “watch list” species, early detection and rapid response efforts aimed at successful invaders, as well as programs to control and manage established populations of nonindigenous species that have impacted food-web dynamics within the coastal, nearshore (0-30 m depth) and offshore (>30 m) aquatic habitats of Lake Michigan.  Those presentations that address impacts at the community or ecosystem-level are particularly encouraged. 

Watersheds, Nutrients and Hypoxia

Session 13 - Nuisance algae and nutrient dynamics in the nearshore zone
Chair: Harvey Bootsma, Ph.D., School of Freshwater Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, (414) 382-1717, hbootsma@uwm.edu

During the past decade our understanding of the causes of nuisance algal growth in the Lake Michigan nearshore zone has improved.  However, there are a number of related nearshore processes that remain poorly understood:  To what degree is the nearshore zone a sink for pelagic energy sources?  How will the nearshore zone respond to any changes in nutrient loading?  What are the implications of recent changes for the nearshore food web?  What are the mechanisms responsible for avian boutlism outrbreaks?  This session will include presentations that examine these questions and explore how an improved understanding of ecosystem dynamics can guide management strategies that specifically address nearshore ecosystem integrity.

Session 14 - Green Bay hypoxia
Chairs: Val Klump, Ph.D., Assoc. Dean of Research, School of Freshwater Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, (414) 382-1700, vklump@uwm.edu
Kevin Fermanich, Ph.D., Natural and Applied Sciences University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, (920) 465-2240,
fermanik@uwgb.edu

Session 15 - Lake Michigan basin TMDLs and phosphorus management
Chair: John Masterson, Lake Michigan Program Coordinator, Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources, (920) 892-8756 Ext. 3055, John.Masterson@wisconsin.gov

Excessive nutrient loss from watersheds is frequently associated with degraded water quality in streams and lakes. Phosphorus loading to Lake Michigan continues to impact water quality, nearshore habitat, and the biological integrity of the lake. Phosphorus loading can occur from point source (end-of-pipe) and nonpoint sources, primarily stormwater runoff. This session will focus on problems associated with excess phosphorus in Lake Michigan and strategies to reduce this pollutant loading. Presentations will include impacts from phosphorus loading, development of water quality criteria, adaptive management strategies, and development and implementation of Total Maximum Daily Loading (TMDL) efforts within the Lake Michigan Basin.          

Vibrant and Resilient Coastal Communities

Session 16 - Learning to live with coastal hazards
Chairs: Kate Barrett, GIS Specialist, Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources, Office of Great Lakes, (608) 266-9238, Kate.Barrett@wisconsin.gov
Gene R. Clark, PE, Coastal Engineering Specialist, UW Sea Grant Institute, Lake Superior NERR Building, (715) 392-3246, gclark1@uwsuper.edu

Great Lakes shorelines are complex ecosystems and many are subject to the erosional and depositional forces of nature.   This session will focus on understanding Great Lakes natural coastal processes and their effects, which can impact shorelines, coastal dunes, bluffs, and coastal structures.  Presentations will incorporate case studies for a real world approach to understanding the causes of coastal hazards and adaptive responses. 

Session 17 - Sustainable coastal communities
Chairs: Nancy Williamson, Regional Watershed Coordinator, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, nancy.williamson@illinois.gov
Julia Noordyk, University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, UW-Green Bay, (920) 465-2329, jnoordyk@aqua.wisc.edu 

Regional and local authorities are often faced with difficult choices between shrinking budgets and growing threats from climate change, poorly planned development and detrimental agricultural practices. This session will focus on innovative planning and policy solutions that address common coastal challenges such as erosion, loss of habitat, degraded water quality and increased stormwater runoff. Presentations will include examples such as climate change adaptation strategies, green infrastructure planning, watershed management, and stormwater BMPs (or best management practices).

Session 18 - Harbors, working waterfronts and recreation
Chairs: Mark Breederland, Extension Educator, Michigan Sea Grant, (231) 922-4628, breederl@msu.edu
Todd Parker, Lake Michigan LaMP Forum Facilitator, Delta Institute, (517) 482-8810, tparker@delta-institute.org

Community harbors and working waterfronts are the heart of coastal communities, both for access to Great Lakes waters and to support water dependent jobs and activities.  Recent all-time record low levels for Lake Michigan (since 1918) have added to already challenged water access in some harbors.  This session will focus on science & management, best practices, and funding mechanisms to insure harbors are open for business and recreation.  Topics include marina management, dredging, infrastructure, waterfront land-use planning and impact of lake levels.  Additionally, issues regarding dangerous currents and community actions for water swim safety are included in this session, as 2012 was a significant year for drownings near structures and from rip-currents in Lake Michigan communities.

Poster Session
Chair: Theresa Qualls, University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, UW-Green Bay, (920) 465-5031, quallst@uwgb.edu

Contact Us

For more information and questions please contact:

Victoria Harris
phone: (920) 366-3971
harrisv@uwgb.edu

Conference Sponsors

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative     Environmental Protection Agency     Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources     Great Lakes Beach Association
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