St. Croix River protection conference is April 15Strategies for long-term protection of the St. Croix River will be presented at the ninth annual St. Croix Basin Protection Conference, scheduled from 9 a.m.-3:45 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, at UW-River Falls in the University Center. Sponsoring the conference are the university and the multi-agency St. Croix Basin Water Resources Planning Team.
Strategies for long-term protection of the St. Croix River will be presented at the ninth annual St. Croix Basin Protection Conference, scheduled from 9 a.m.-3:45 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, at UW-River Falls in the University Center. Sponsoring the conference are the university and the multi-agency St. Croix Basin Water Resources Planning Team.
Featured are 25 speakers and discussion leaders from Minnesota and Wisconsin. The conference is open to the public, and sponsoring partners hope to attract farmers, municipal officials, treatment plant operators, land use planners, developers and interested citizens.
Keynote speaker Rebecca Wodder of Washington, D.C., will speak at 9:20. She is president of American Rivers, the largest river protection advocacy group in the U.S. A graduate of UW-Madison, Wodder did part of her master’s degree work on the St. Croix River. She was an environmental legislative aide to the late Sen. Gaylord Nelson, who along with former Sen. and Vice President Walter Mondale sponsored the St. Croix River protection legislation in the 1960s.
This year, the St. Croix River is celebrating its 40th anniversary of designation by Congress as one of the eight original rivers in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. However, the lower 25 miles known as Lake St. Croix, between Stillwater and Prescott, is now being designated by the two states that share it as “an impaired water” under the Federal Clean Water Act. Minnesota and Wisconsin have already signed an agreement to remedy the problem causing the deterioration of water quality, namely excessive inflow of phosphorus and suspended sediments from the surrounding watershed.
The primary focus of the conference and its workshops will be on the implementation of the St. Croix River Nutrient Reduction Agreement, which aims to reduce potentially damaging phosphorus in the St. Croix River by 20 percent by the year 2020.
Registration for the entire day, including continental breakfast and buffet luncheon, is $50 with a special $25 rate for secondary and post-secondary students. The registration deadline is April 7.
Registration for the St. Croix Protection Conference is available on-line through www.uwebe.encumpus.com or by contacting the UW Extension office in Spooner at (715) 635-7406.