SUPERIOR, Wis. – Here in the Northland, we depend on our lakes just to keep us alive.
This week, a conference has those fresh waters in mind.
It’s the eighth annual St. Louis River Summit at the Yellowjacket Union on campus at University of Wisconsin-Superior.
The conference brings together some of the top scientific minds in the area to discuss the importance of preserving and protecting our waterways.
Event organizers say our fresh water sources – especially Lake Superior – are critical to our everyday lives.
“Both Superior and Duluth pull drinking water from Lake Superior,” said Dr. Erika Washburn, manager of the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve. “It’s one funny aside, but if all you drink is coffee, local beer, and water, all of that in you is Lake Superior.”
The theme of this year’s River Summit is “Going Blue.”
Organizers say that it means keeping our waterways in mind as we make critical economic and environmental decisions.
The overall point is to drive home the idea that water is always a part of our health and well-being.
“If you take Lake Superior out of the picture entirely – pretend it didn’t exist – why would we be here? We’re here because of that body of water and it’s connected to the Great Lakes and they’re connected to the ocean, and all those pieces come together,” Dr. Washburn said.
The keynote speaker is Dr. Wallace “J.” Nichols, an internationally recognized marine biologist and author.
Nearly 40 speakers were invited to give presentations at the summit.