LakeAssoc 300 224Mike Kennedy, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, facilitates workshop break out group. Also pictured, left to right: Tom Nelson, MN Coalition of Lake Associations; Dolores Delaney, White Iron Chain of Lakes Association; Biz Clark, Poplar Lake Area Association; Todd Sellers, Lake of the Woods Water Sustainability Foundation.Citizen science, partnerships and the valuable role of volunteer organizations in lake stewardship was the focus of a one-day workshop for lake associations, held September 11 at Sunny Cove camp on the shores of Rainy Lake. 

Sixteen lake associations, non-governmental organizations and government resource agencies from Minnesota and Ontario participated – spanning the breadth of the watershed from Ely, MN to Kenora, ON. 

The work of each organization was highlighted through presentations and displays, with discussion and workshop sessions focused on finding areas of common concern, local and basin wide issues, and opportunities for lake associations to contribute individually or in collaboration with other group and agencies to the lake stewardship, citizen science and monitoring, nutrient reduction and aquatic invasive species prevention. 

One session focused on understanding the challenges faced by lake organizations, successful projects and strategies, and what is on their “wish-lists”.  In addition, participants also heard from Jeff Forester, Executive Director of Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates on what drives lake associations in Minnesota and from Todd Sellers, Executive Director of LOWWSF, on the issues facing the watershed and who is working at finding solutions. 

The event was organized by the watershed coordination program of the Lake of the Woods Water Sustainability Foundation, with the support of the financial support of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Government of Canada through the federal Department of Environment and Climate Change.

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