River group plans forum

Save The River Board President Jeffrey Garnsey speaks at the event’s 29th annual Winter Environmental Conference in February 2018 in Clayton. The 31st annual conference will be held on Feb. 1. Watertown Daily Times

CLAYTON — Climate change, water levels, Asian Carp and loons are among the topics speakers will discuss during Save the River’s 31st annual Winter Environmental Conference on Feb. 1.

The environmental advocacy nonprofit group invited seven speakers, including scientists, an author and a software developer, to share their knowledge about issues pertinent to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. The conference, which will include an hour-long lunch, will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel.

“We always try to bring speakers to speak on topics of interest to people in the north country and on the (St. Lawrence) River,” said John M. Peach, executive director of Save the River.

Widespread flooding along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River due to high water levels has not only inundated homes, submerged docks, closed roads and eroded shores, but also garnered numerous headlines and spurred extensive discussion. Therefore, Save the River recruited a scientist to offer a presentation on the topic.

Drew Gronewold, associate professor at the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability, will discuss the hydrological conditions that affect water levels along with past, present and predicted future conditions of the Great Lakes basin.

Mr. Peach also said he will discuss how climate change affects the lakes. Thomas E. Brown, a member of the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board, and possibly another board member will join Mr. Gronewold on stage after his presentation for further discussion.

The conference will also feature Andrew Reeves, an environmental journalist from Toronto and author of “Overrun: Dispatches from the Asian Carp Crisis,” Dr. John Farrell, SUNY ESF professor and director of the Thousand Islands Biological Station on Governor’s Island, who will discuss current muskellunge population studies, and Rob Hoehn, a seasonal Round Island resident and CEO of IdeaScale, a California software company, who will talk about climate change and how it can affect communities.

Other speakers include Barbara King of Watersheds Canada, who will discuss shoreline sustainability and how to protect them from flooding and erosion; Dr. Nina Schoch, executive director of the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation, and Patricia Shulenburg, program manager for Save the River, who will discuss educational programs offered by the group.

“I’m excited about all of them,” Mr. Peach said.

In addition to the slew of talks, Save the River will announce the winner of the Dan Tack Annual Muskie Catch and Release Tournament.

Anyone interested in attending the event, which costs $50 per person, must fill out a registration form, which can be found at wdt.me/WinterConference, and either email it to kendall@savetheriver.org or mail it the Save the River Office, 409 Riverside Drive. The group will also livestream the event and share the link before the conference.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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