Thursday, March 02, 2006

An update on the "National Conference on Enhancing the States' Lake Management Programs" from the Conference Coordinator

I know some of you have had questions about the upcoming National States' Lakes Conference in Chicago, which has been a mainstay conference for NALMS Chapters and lake association folks for years. Thanks to Bob Kirschner, Conference Coordinator, for this update.

March 2, 2006

Dear Statewide Lake Management Organization Contact:

My writing to you today is in regards to the upcoming national lakes conference that will be held this coming April in Chicago. As you may know, for the past 18 years this conference has been held as the "Annual National Conference on Enhancing the States' Lake Management Programs" with two primary target audiences: state agency lake program staff, and leaders of statewide lake management organizations. Over the years the conference has provided an extraordinary forum for exchanging information as we've explored innovative techniques to restore and protect the quality of our Nation's lakes, to do "more with less" in the face of tighter state and federal budget allocations, and to strengthen the partnership between federal, state, and local interests sharing a common objective of enhanced lake quality.

This year's conference, to be held on April 25-28, 2006, takes on a somewhat different focus from previous meetings. With funding provided by the U.S. EPA's Monitoring Branch, the conference is designed to help plan a project that, over the next several years, will assess the quality of the Nation's lakes via a partnership between the U.S. EPA and the states' water quality monitoring agencies. As you can see from the Conference Announcement attached below, the entire conference agenda is dedicated to discussions related to the design and execution of this national survey and related lake monitoring protocols, and so state agency staff and others with technical expertise in lake quality assessment and monitoring are especially encouraged to attend.

Beginning with the 5th National Conference held in 1992, over $1/4 million in funding has been made available to help support the participation of statewide lake management organizations at this annual event. The origins of the funding were primarily from the U.S. EPA, with significant financial contributions also coming from the Chicago Botanic Garden, and in more recent years, from the North American Lake Management Society. However, due largely to the highly focused and somewhat technical agenda for the 2006 conference, the conference sponsors were unable to secure funding to support statewide lake management organizations' participation at this year's conference.

The conference sponsors are hopeful that a national lakes conference can again be held in April 2007, and that the conference program will offer topics directly relevant to your statewide lake management organization's activities as well as others working at the "grassroots" level to restore and protect lakes. Stay tuned for more details.

And finally, thanks to you and the other members of your organization for your continuing commitment to preserve for future generations our Nation's legacy of quality lakes.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Warm regards,

Bob Kirschner, Conference Coordinator
Director, Aquatic Plant & Urban Lake Studies
Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe, IL 60022
e-mail: bkirschn@chicagobotanic.org

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