2018 Aquatic Invaders Summit largest to date. Next Summit is being planned for 2020.

Largest attendance ever with over 450 people attending in person and an estimated 250 people watching via the livestream broadcast. Session recordings are available for free to MLR members and member organizations.

2018 Aquatic Invaders Summit Recap

On February 28 through March 1, 2018 over 450 representatives from lake associations, watershed districts, soil and watershed districts, county resource managers, DNR staff, University of MN professors, county commissioners, water related business owners, college students and non-profit leaders gathered to build consistency, collaboration and communication in our shared goal to protect Minnesota’s lakes and rivers from not only aquatic invasive species, but other threats to our waters. Another 250 people across the country attended via the livestream feature MLR offered for the first time.

Retired WCCO television news anchor Don Shelby emceed the opening plenary. The closing panel discussion on Aquatic Invasive Species, facilitated by MPR’s Chris Farrell,  was recorded and re-broadcast on Minnesota Public Radio’s The Water Main radio program.

Presenters came from as far away as British Columbia and Vermont, but also included local lake associations, MN DNR and local government resource managers discussing  new innovations in Minnesota.

Summit Key Takeaways:

  • There are five significant threats to Minnesota’s lakes today,

    • Lakes and rivers are getting warmer, causing water chemistry and habitat (plant growth & fish spawning) changes,

    • Cycles of extreme downpour events and drought are changing the hydrology in Minnesota. Precipitation has increased almost 3 inches in the last century with a higher percentage coming in significant cloud burst events,

    • Nutrient loading and runoff pollution is increasing, driven in part by significant cloudburst events,

    • The size and abundance of fish species is declining,

    • Aquatic Invasive Species continue to spread and are altering aquatic ecosystems in unpredictable ways.

  • These five factors are all inter-related and impact the others creating the need for more holistic adaptive management strategies.

  • Efforts to build civic infrastructure at the local level - creating a local civics that works to protect water quality are key to success over the long term. Citizens that care about water must work to build partnerships among local government units, state agency personnel and citizens’ groups to be successful.

This year, for the first time, Minnesota Lakes and Rivers worked to provide access to content for those that could not attend in person. The entire event was live streamed online at the time of the event, including the MPR The Water Main panel discussion hosted by Chris Farrell.

You can view most of the Aquatic Invaders Summit sessions including the MPR Water Main panel discussion on the MLR website under the blog section at: http://www.mnlakesandrivers.org/2018/05/04/aquatic-invaders-summit-iii-livestream-recordings

Planning is underway for the 2020 Aquatic Invaders Summit. We are always looking for important topics and speakers as we work to create programming that not only provides the best and latest science to attendees, but also helps to bring local government resource managers, state agency personnel and citizen advocates together in solution.

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