It’ a Good Year for…Water!
By: Charlie Luthin,Wisconsin Wetlands Association
Wisconsin will experience an unprecedented focus on its water resources over the next 12 months, due to a variety of “water initiatives” that have been planned and synchronized by diverse organizations and agencies.
- Waters of Wisconsin: The Future of our Aquatic Ecosystems and Resources, a two-year campaign spearheaded by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters, is truly an extraordinary interdisciplinary program. The Academy has engaged some of the state’s top scientists, scholars, agency personnel and “users” as advisors to this effort. WOW activities have included holding seminars around the state on various water themes, and crafting a “State of Wisconsin’s Waters” overview report. The Academy’s journal,Wisconsin Academy Review, has featured various articles about water in recent issues. The Academy’s program will culminate in a statewide Waters of Wisconsin Forum to be held in Madison on October 21-22 of this year. WWA is organizing a session on “Restoring Wisconsin’s Waters” during the forum. Check the Academy’s website for more information: www.wisconsinacademy.org/wow/forum/index.html.
- “Year of Water” is a proposal forwarded to Governor McCallum by the Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. The Academy has encouraged the Governor to declare 2003 the “Year of Water” in Wisconsin, and has asked that each state agency engage in activities to highlight our important water resources. A coalition of state conservation organizations have embraced the proposal, and are planning a series of activities next year to bring attention to water issues, threats and conservation needs. The “Year of Water” would recognize the 30th anniversary of the federal Clean Water Act signed into law in October 1972.
- Rivers 2002-A Watershed Event is a conference planned by the River Alliance of Wisconsin (RAW) November 8 – 10 in Rosholt,Wisconsin. This conference aims to assemble over 100 representatives of organizations working for local watershed protection in Wisconsin to develop a strategy,”River Works 2002-2005: A Citizen Action Plan for Wisconsin’s Watersheds.” WWA is a co-sponsor of this event.
- Clean Water Coalition is a loose coalition of diverse organizations coordinated by the River Alliance of Wisconsin that works together on water issues. The most significant effort of the CWC has been promoting new non-point pollution rules for the state. The coalition is presently developing its water strategy for 2003 and beyond!
A day-long “all water” workshop is planned as part of the Wisconsin Association of Lakes (WAL) 25th annual lakes summit in April, 2003, in Green Bay. The workshop will include presentations and discussions on issues that affect ground water,wetlands, rivers and lakes.