Milwaukee site of the Nonpoint Source Monitoring Conference
The Milwaukee Art Museum near the conference site

Hello from across the pond in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  While Elizabeth is off exploring the Atlantic, I (Watershed Planner, Ric Lawson) am staying closer to home in the Great Lakes for the 18th National Nonpoint Source Monitoring Conference.

Representatives from a variety of organizations from across the country are gathered here to learn about innovative approaches to measure the effectiveness of pollution reduction efforts. Just as Elizabeth is doing in Baltimore, I will be discussing our efforts to monitor the success of Ann Arbor’s fertilizer ordinance and other phosphorus initiatives.

This year’s conference has an emphasis on agricultural projects, so HRWC’s efforts will stand out.  On the other hand, conference keynote speaker Pete Nowak with the University of Wisconsin-Madison urged attendees to focus on measuring the effect we are having on water quality – our collective goal.  HRWC is way ahead of them.  Unfortunately, the economy has hit this conference as attendance is about a third of what it was last year.  Still, I hope to bring back a lot of new ideas to try out in our little neck of the Great Lakes.