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Save The River Executive Director Attends Annual Great Lakes Restoration Conference

September 16th, 2014 | Posted by admin

Lee Willbanks, Save The River Executive Director and Upper St.Lawrence Riverkeeper attended the 10th Annual Healing Our Waters Great Lakes Restoration Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan last week as a presenter and participant.  Mr. Willbanks was part of a panel examining the impact of aquatic invasive species on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River and the pathways by which they have been introduced.

stop aquatic hitchhikers

Following his presentation, which focused on the role the Saint Lawrence Seaway played in bringing at least 56 invasive species to the River and Lakes, he was interviewed by Detroit Public Television on the same subject. Also presenting with Mr. Willbanks was Lindsay Chadderton, Aquatic Invasive Species Director, at Lakes.The Nature Conservancy, and Rudi Strickler, PhD, Shaw Distinguished Professor, Biological Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The panel was moderated by Nate Drag, Watershed Project Coordinator in New York, Alliance for the Great Lakes.

For Mr. Willbanks’ interview with Detroit Public Television go to: http://ow.ly/BwUP4

More than 350 Great Lakes advocates attended the conference that has been held annually since 2005. In addition to the panel on invasive species, there were presentations on controlling harmful algal blooms in Western Lake Erie and elsewhere in the region, the implications of increased crude oil shipping on the Great Lakes, how small plastic pollution is threatening the Great Lakes ecosystem and what’s being done to curb the problem, and mapping the value of the Great Lakes to communities around the region to better target restoration investments.

The Great Lakes Coalition, which Save The River has been an active member of for many years, consists of more than 115 environmental, conservation, and outdoor recreation organizations; zoos, aquariums, and museums representing millions of people who share a common goal: restoring and protecting North America’s greatest freshwater resources, the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.

For more information about the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition go to: www.healthylakes.org

The St. Lawrence River connects the Great Lakes to the rest of the world. It is estimated that since the St. Lawrence Seaway opened in 1959 at least 65% of the invasive species introduced to the Great Lakes have come from ocean going ships entering via the River. Save The River and the Great Lakes Coalition both are working to control and prevent the spread of invasive species.

For more information about Save The River go to: www.savetheriver.org

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