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Summit focus on river environment

The Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve holds its annual St. Louis River Summit March 14-15 at the University of Wisconsin-Superior in the Yellowjacket Union.

Forty speakers present information about progress related to the river environment, community well-being and scientific monitoring techniques.

"This year's theme is linking climate, landscapes and community: the road to resilience," said Erika Washburn, Lake Superior Reserve manager. "Like an estuary, the St. Louis River Summit is a place where people meet and mix. It provides a diversity of solutions and strategies for a healthy St. Louis River Watershed. It also nourishes the community with education and outreach opportunities."

After welcome remarks by university officials and local dignitaries, keynote speaker Peter David with the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission gives the talk, "Learning in the Great Spirit's Garden: Stories from Manoomin (Wild Rice)."

The goal of the summit is to bring together key audiences working in the region to share information about the St. Louis River and encourage coordination of activities and funding proposals. Other summit presentations include topics such as extreme weather preparedness, comprehensive planning, progress on delisting the St. Louis River as an Area of Concern, microplastics in the water and the status of the walleye fishery. A session featuring 25 posters will take place the end of the day on March 14.

College students are invited to attend and will find value in a river careers networking event at 4 p.m., the first day. This interactive session will help students visualize themselves in an environmental career by learning job-seeking skills from diverse professionals in the field.

In a free public evening talk, "St. Louis River Stories and Science LIVE!" five community members share stories about how the St. Louis River has changed over the course of their lives. This evening talk is being held as part of the popular monthly River Talk series at 6:30 p.m. at the Yellowjacket Union. Arrive early to browse the poster session beforehand.

Registration is required. The cost is $30, which includes lunches and refreshments. Students are free, but need to register. The deadline is March 7. To register and see the agenda, visit lakesuperiorreserve.org.

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