Thursday Concurrent Session 2
April 2, 2020 ~ 10:40 am-Noon
Agenda subject to change.
The Basics of Lake Science
This introduction to lake science will describe how a lake’s shape and position in the landscape influence what that lake is like. Learn about basic physical, chemical and biological systems and how they relate. Explore how these features create different suitabilities for the plants and animals that call a lake “home.” This foundation helps us evaluate each lake’s potential health, and sets the stage for how we protect and manage lakes.
Presenter: Susan Graham, Southcentral Region Lakes Management Coordinator, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Reflections on the Year of Clean Drinking Water and Speaker's Task Force 2020 Updates
2019 was both the Year of Clean Drinking Water and brought us the work of the Speaker’s Water Quality Task Force including a number of bills introduced into the Legislature. Outside of this, other water-related legislation and bills impacting lake organizations were proposed. What was proposed, what passed, and what is still alive as the 2019-20 Legislative Session comes to a close. This presentation will review relevant water-related legislation since the 2019 Lakes Convention and the work of the Speaker’s Water Quality Task Force. We’ll also be joined by Rep. Katrina Shankland, Vice Chair of the Task Force, and Todd Ambs, Assistant Deputy Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to discuss what was accomplished and where we go from here
Presenter: Mike Engleson, Executive Director, Wisconsin Lakes
Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point), Vice Chair, Speaker’s Water Quality Task Force
Todd Ambs, Assistant Deputy Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
An Introduction to Stream Ecology
What IS stream ecology anyway? Where do streams come from and what lives in them? What are the basic definitions and importance of these five physical features of streams: temperature, flow, pH, light and dissolved oxygen?
Presenter: Kristopher Wright, Aquatic Biologist, UW-Platteville
Understanding Lake Organizations: Different Tools from Social Sciences to Foster Resilient Management
Lakes are important to the wildlife they support, people who recreate in them, and economies they stimulate. Lakes are also under tremendous threats from slow changes like climate change and land use change and more acute challenges like aquatic invasive species, new technologies, and heavy use of the lakes. The diverse uses of lakes and equally diverse challenges, lead to lake organizations defining resilience in different ways such as stewardship, community building, aquatic invasive species prevention or management, and more. This session will bring together three different ways to examine lake organizations and their roles in caring for our waters.
Survey research carried out through UW Stevens Point’s Center for Land Use Education and Purdue University has focused on lake management challenges that involve understanding perspectives of both riparian landowners and those in the watershed. The findings so far suggest that both audiences (shoreland and watershed) have nuances requiring more sophisticated outreach strategies.
In a study of 30 Vilas County lake organizations, researchers from Arizona State University ask how lake management outcomes are affected by the biophysical conditions of the lake, attributes of the community, and rules-in-use. Their results explore what this means for the lake organizations and the role the Wisconsin Lakes Partnership plays in lake organization resilience.
At the statewide scale, the UW Madison Division of Extension has been analyzing the entire structure of the Wisconsin Lakes Partnership as we enter a decade of development and change. Findings indicate that while many parts of the state are well served by local and state lake management institutions, some areas may need help with regional coordination. Join us to learn more and contribute to a lively discussion during this session.
Aaron Thompson, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture, Purdue University
Dane Whitaker, Graduate Researcher, School of Sustainability, Arizona State University
Marco Janssen, Senior Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University
Jeremy Solin, Capacity Outreach Specialist, Community Development Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension
Links to presentations (PDF)
Climate Change and Extreme Weather in Wisconsin
Like the rest of the country, Wisconsin has warmed and experienced more extreme weather during recent decades. A greater amount of heavy precipitation is responsible for much of this increase in extremes, including some high-profile events such as the August 2018 record deluge in the Madison area. Climate models project a greater frequency and intensity of heavy rainfalls and heat waves in Wisconsin and elsewhere, pointing to an urgent need for enhanced adaptation and resilience strategies. Improvements in downscaled climate modeling are allowing greater confidence in predicting trends in climate and extreme weather across the state and around the country. This presentation will highlight the major changes that have occurred in Wisconsin recently, as well as those expected through the rest of this century. These trends have already impacted lakes and rivers around the state, and the projected warmer and wetter climate will continue to do so in the future.
Presenter: Steve Vavrus, Senior scientist, Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Lake-Specific Climate Adaptation Solutions for Preserving Cold-Water Fish Habitat in Wisconsin Lakes
Wisconsin’s lakes are a vital economic and cultural natural resource statewide but are threatened greatly by climate change. Harmful algal blooms, flooding, and fish kills can all be attributed to a warmer, wetter climate. To manage our lakes, resource managers need to consider (1) how lakes are changing; (2) what mechanisms are causing undesired changes to the lake; and (3) how differences in watershed characteristics and lake morphometry impact effectiveness of adaptation solutions. I will use an example of developing lake-specific adaptation solutions for cold-water fish habitat in two Wisconsin lakes to illustrate this process. Using modeling, I assess impacts of climate change on cold-water fish habitat, elucidate mechanisms causing negative impacts to fish habitat, and assess usefulness of adaptation options for the study lakes.
Presenter: Madeline Magee, Great Lakes and Mississippi River Monitoring Coordinator, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
*Three 25 minute presentations
Crowdsourcing for Valuable Water Quality Data: Winter Salt Watch
The Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA) is at the helm of a nationwide citizen science water monitoring project. Salt Watch is a simple monitoring program that equips everyday citizens to monitor the chloride content in their local waterways following winter storms, and submit their data using the Water Report App. In cases where chloride levels are excessive, we encourage citizen scientists to contact the agency or group that is responsible for salt application on roadways and advocate for responsible application rates. When winter is over and data has been submitted, League staff produce a map of chloride levels in watersheds around the country. Last winter, media in multiple cities ran stories about Salt Watch findings. This presentation provides an opportunity to learn about IWLA’s innovative citizen science volunteer engagement, web-based data visualization, turning citizen science data into action on a local level, and volunteer recruitment strategies.
Presenter: Zach Moss, Save Our Streams Coordinator, Izaak Walton League of America
Increasing Salinity in Wisconsin's Lakes and Rivers
Chloride accumulation in freshwater is on the rise across the Midwest. Road salt is the biggest contributor of chloride to our lakes and streams, followed by other sources like water softeners and agricultural fertilizers. Though not a new problem, more of Wisconsin’s waters are being threatened by chloride in recent years, causing it to quickly gain public and research interest. Since 2012, there has been an increase in additions to the state’s impaired waters list for chloride and this trend is likely to continue if overapplication of road salt continues. This study aims to determine chloride loading in two urban and agricultural watersheds: Lake Mendota and Lake Monona watersheds. Preliminary results will be shared to highlight chloride’s movement through stream to lake. The results will provide chloride sources, flushing rates, and water quality management recommendations to cease the increase in salinity while maintaining safety.
Presenter: Linnea Rock, Center for Limnology, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Winter Road Salt Monitoring in the Milwaukee River Basin and Actions to Reduce Chloride Pollution at the Source
Over application of road salt can pose a very real threat to the health of our rivers and environment. Chloride, the key ingredient in road salt, can permanently pollute our freshwater systems. Low chloride concentration levels over long periods of exposure and high spikes in concentration over a short period, both have lasting (and sometimes deadly) impacts to life within the stream. Learn about Milwaukee Riverkeeper’s hardiest volunteers who collect critical data on chloride and conductivity throughout the Milwaukee River Basin. In an additional effort to reduce chloride pollution at its source, Milwaukee Riverkeeper works with winter road maintenance professionals in a series of workshops focusing on road salt application best practices.
Presenter: Katie Rademacher, Water Quality Manager, Milwaukee Riverkeeper