3rd Annual Rotary Lake Erie Watershed Conference, “Water Conference On the Road”: Our 3rd Annual Rotary Lake Erie Watershed Conference has been a tremendous success with two “On the Road” events held on Sept 22nd and Oct 7th! So far the events have been in the Hancock and Hardin county area and on Put in Bay and Gibraltar Island out in Lake Erie. Attendees have been excited – getting out into the field and on the water to see what is going on in Lake Erie!
Since Rotary D6600 almost matches the boundaries of the Western Lake Erie watershed in Ohio – from Elyria in the east all the way west to the border with Indiana and from the coast of Lake Erie in the north to the shores of Grand Lake St Mary’s in the south, our conference “On the Road” is accomplishing two goals for us; first, it helps make it possible for more members from even more clubs around the District to be involved and attend these water events and second it gets Rotarians out in the field to get our feet wet and our hands dirty with some real grassroots exposure to the causes and solutions of the Lake Erie algae issue.
Our first two “On the Road” Conference Events have included:
– Blanchard River Demonstration Farms Tour, Friday, September 22nd: The Blanchard River is an important tributary flowing to the Auglaize and then into the Maumee River. Nearly 40 attendees filled the tour bus, many from the TRC, and the weather was excellent – and HOT!!! Attendees met and talked with the farmers getting a chance to see new farming practices in place which will reduce nutrient runoff to Lake Erie.
– Rotary Day at Stone Lab, Saturday, October 7th: Working together with the IYFR (International
Yachting Fellowship of Rotarians) and the Sandusky Club, DGE Maris Brenner was the host for this over the top successful tour to the Ohio State University Stone Lab on Put in Bay and Gibraltar Island. Registration was so popular that we filled every slot available! Rotarians from TRC and many other clubs saw the Stone Lab facilities and got both a bit of history (the old fish hatchery and Jay Cooke’s castle) and science (lecture by Dr Kristin Fussell, Asst Director of Stone Lab as well as lab demonstration and water sampling boat tour). A wonderful day of fun and learning – the weather cooperated perfectly!
– NEXT EVENT – Tree Planting Events (jointly with the Environmental Sustainability Committee): Our new RI President, Ian Riseley, has challenged every Rotary club to make a difference by planting a tree for each of its members between the start of the Rotary year on 1 July and Earth Day on 22 April 2018. That means over 1.2 million trees worldwide! Here in Northwest Ohio, our tree planting will do double-duty by contributing to clean water through restoring wetlands or creating urban green infrastructure. These tree planting events will involve Rotarians, friends and family for a fun day out. Timing will be in the spring of 2018.
Organizations who are potential partners include:
– Black Swamp Conservancy (Upper Maumee and Sandusky River sites)
– Toledo Metroparks (Fallen Timbers site)