The Chequamegon Water Collaborative, a student initiative aimed at citizen engagement around water issues, will host a public, one-day conference Sunday, May 15, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center. The conference is free and open to the public.

“We’re hoping to connect citizens around the Chequamegon Bay directly to water resource professionals and initiatives in the area,” said lead organizer Joe Fitzgerald, a graduating senior at Northland College.

The conference will feature four sessions with the following speakers and organizations:

Water Relationships in the Chequamegon Bay:
• Joe Rose, Bad River tribal elder
• Kellie Pederson, Northland College Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute Lake Superior Project Coordinator, National Marine Sanctuary

Research in the Chequamegon Bay:
• Steve Galarnue, Director of the Great Lakes Department of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
• Jay Glase, National Parks Service
• Randy Lehr, Codirector of the Northland College Mary Griggs Burke Center Freshwater Innovation
• Desi Neiwinski, Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation
• Northland College Center for Rural Communities
• Matt Hudson, Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation

Private Landowners Land Management: 
• Erika Lang, Bayfield Regional Conservancy
• Henry Quinlan, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
• Jane Anklam, West Wisconsin Land Trust

Public Involvement:
• Chequamegon Water Collaborative
• Kevin Brewster, Bad River Watershed Association
• Val Damstra, Coordinator of the Chequamegon Bay Area Partnership

“This is an incredible opportunity for people to interact with water resource professionals and researchers in the region,”Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald and students Emily Donaldson, Julia Fair, and Keith Zelinski created the Chequamegon Water Collaborative as a way to connect researchers, businesses, community leaders, and citizens on issues related to water.

For up-to-date information visit the Chequamegon Water Collaborative Facebook page.