2009 New Hampshire Joint Water and Watershed Conference Features GIS Track and Hands-on Workshop

new_hampshire_water_conference The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) invites interested watershed stakeholders to attend the annual 2009 New Hampshire Joint Water and Watershed Conference – Focusing on Water Resources: 2020 Vision, on Friday and Saturday, November 20th and 21st, 2009 from 8:15 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Registration is from 8:15 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. and will be held at the Grappone Conference Center located at 70 Constitutional Avenue in Concord, NH. To find out more about the conference, read about the informative sessions and workshops, and to register for the conference, please visit www.nhrivers.org.

The organizing committees of the annual New Hampshire Watershed Conference and the New Hampshire Water Conference have joined forces to offer a single, comprehensive event for 2009. The purpose of the merger is to combine talent, resources, and audiences from both events into a unique, two-day event designed to meet the information and networking needs of lake, river, and watershed groups; environmental organizations; volunteer monitors; municipal board and staff members; elected officials; local and regional planners; policy makers; scientists; educators; consultants and students. In addition to DES, the conference sponsors include Comprehensive Environmental, Inc., Weston & Sampson, the NH Water Resources Research Center at UNH, Public Service Company of NH, and the U.S. Geological Survey.

On Friday, the conference will kick off with a presentation by Dr. Christine Feurt titled “Headwaters – Developing a Collaborative Conservation Approach to Support Land Use Decision-Making”. Dr. Feurt holds dual positions as the Coastal Training Program Coordinator at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve in Wells Maine and the Director of the Center for Sustainable Communities in the Department of Environmental Studies at the University of New England in Biddeford Maine. She has worked for over 40 years as an environmental scientist and educator navigating the interface between science and management. Following the plenary, the conference attendees will then have six concurrent tracks to choose from encompassing 32 sessions including “GIS”, “Stormwater”, “Climate Change”, “Water Infrastructure”, “Watershed Management” and “Land Use/Land Conservation”.

On Saturday, the conference will commence with a session titled “Treading Lightly on the Land: How Growth and Development Can Protect Water Quality” by former Maryland Governor Parris Glendening. Governor Glendening now serves as president of the Smart Growth Leadership Institute and in that capacity he works with local and state government executives to develop innovative and effective approaches to growth and development that protect the environment, ensure economic prosperity and create healthier places to live. In addition to the plenary session, the Saturday conference attendees will have six informative tracks to choose from with 20 sessions including GIS, Stormwater, Climate Change, Organizational Development, Watershed Management, Land Use/Land Conservation.

There is a different audience emphasis each day – Friday’s presentations are designed more for technical/professional audiences while Saturday’s presentations have been developed with lay/volunteer audiences in mind; local officials and state policy makers will find the sessions on both days very informative.

Throughout both days of the conference, attendees will have the opportunity to network with other professionals, policy makers, educators, consultants, local river advisory committees, lake associations, volunteer monitoring groups, watershed associations, and other organizations. In addition, posters and other exhibits from consulting firms, students, and river and lake organizations throughout the state will be on display.

The cost to attend the conference is $35/day or $50 for both days; if you register online before November 13th. There is an additional $20 fee for those who choose to attend the Geographic Information System (GIS) 2-hour hands-on workshops. The registration fee includes light breakfast, the plenary, lunch, two 60-minute sessions, a two-hour hands-on workshop, and display session. Registrants are also provided with an option to join the New Hampshire Rivers Council and the NH Lakes Association at a special rate. This conference provides a state-wide forum for learning and networking about issues related to water resources in New Hampshire. You won’t want to miss this opportunity!

If you would like more information or have any questions regarding the conference, please call Josh Cline, Executive Director of NH Rivers Council at ( 603 ) 228-6472 or email at josh@nhrivers.org, or you can call Laura Weit, Acting Rivers Coordinator at DES at ( 603 ) 271-8811 or email her at laura.weit@des.nh.gov.

THE REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2009. Late registration will be accepted on the day of the conference at a cost of $45/day or $65 for both days. So, be sure to register early!

As part of this two-day conference, the NH Rivers Council is hosting the Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival on Friday evening which will be held at the Red River Theaters, 11 South Main Street in Concord, NH. For more information about this exciting event, please see the NH Rivers website for more details at www.nhrivers.org.

[Source: press release]

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