Lana Pollack, who chairs the U.S. section of the International Joint Commission, will be the keynote speaker at the annual Lake Erie Waterkeeper Conference March 21 at Lourdes University, Franciscan Center, 6832 Convent Blvd., Sylvania.
Pollack was appointed to chair the U.S. section by President Barack Obama in June 2010.
A former Michigan state senator, she was president of the Michigan Environmental Council, a coalition of about 70 environmental organizations, from 1996-2008.
Canada and the U.S. established the International Joint Commission to cooperate on issues involving the Great Lakes and river systems on their common border.
The Boundary Waters Treaty signed by the two counties in 1909 sets the guiding principles for the IJC policies.
The conference will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m
“The conference is being held for anyone interested in the lake,” said Sandy Bihn, executive director Lake Erie Waterkeeper, Inc. “Speakers will share information about various aspects of the lake, including fish, agriculture and water, lake levels, status of Lake Erie and how it healed before, weather impacts, testing results and an international look from the U.S. and Canadian perspectives as well as how Ontario, Canada is protecting water quality. By increasing awareness about our great waters and by knowing what it means to our economies and our future will hopefully get many to support taking care of these incredible waters. “
Other conference speakers are:
• Jeff Tyson, of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, on the effect of Asian Carp on fish populations.
• Jeffrey Ram, of Wayne State University, on new invasive species in the lake’s shipping channel to Toledo.
• Doug Busdeker, The Andresons, agriculture’s efforts to help the lake.
• Ron Wyss, a farmer with the Lake Erie Improvement Association, on the effect of fertilizers.
• Dr. Charles Hernondorf, professor emeritus of Geological Sciences (Oceanography) at The Ohio State University and an Affiliate Scholar in the Environmental Studies Program at Oberlin College, will discuss the condition of the lake in the 1970s and 1980s and the lessons learned.
• Amy Jo Klei, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Lake Erie coordinator, on near shore monitoring.
• Mary Ann Evans, U.S. Geological Survey research ecologist, on an analysis of the western basin.
• Teresa Hollingsworth, Thames coordinator, on drinking water protection.
Other speakers will also cover Lake Erie water levels, climate change, economics and tourism.
The conference is open to the public.