FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Barb DeGroot, 952-443-1459
CHANHASSEN, MN (August 6, 2012) - The 2012 Clean Water Summit will convene at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum on Thursday, Sept. 13, 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., with an emphasis this year on the multiple benefits of soil, and the role soil plays in keeping our waters clean.
Sponsored by the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, the summit will bring together water resource managers, planners, designers, engineers, soil scientists and the public to learn how building and preserving healthy "living" soil is critical for reducing stormwater runoff and removing pollutants that enter Minnesota lake and river systems.
"Many people may not understand that earth is one giant, natural filter," said Tim Kenny, director of education at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. "Through all of its inherent sifting and filtering, the soil remains an essential component to managing pollutants, and is a great boost to cleaning the water that enters our water systems."
According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), assessments of Minnesota's water resources documented more than 1,774 impaired water bodies in the state, including 647 lakes and 388 rivers.
Of these, 1,181 were listed as impaired because of common stormwater pollutants such as nutrients, chloride, temperature and bacteria.
"For decades, when we were building communities, underground pipes would funnel water straight into ponds or lakes, taking many pollutants with them," said Leslie Yetka, lead planner of the Clean Water Summit.
"Now our focus is on keeping the water where it falls and letting it soak into the ground. And understanding the concept of 'living' soil - with its diverse microbial community - is integral to that process."
The 2012 Clean Water Summit's keynote speakers and concurrent sessions will focus on policies and practices related to soil, and motivate attendees to protect healthy soil, rejuvenate disturbed soil and use soil effectively for stormwater management.
Speakers will include: Bill Hunt, Ph.D., professor at North Carolina State University and engineer who has assisted with the design, installation and monitoring of over 90 stormwater best management practices; Carl Rosen, Ph.D., professor and chair of the U of M Dept. of Soil, Water and Climate; Tim Kenny, Arboretum education director; LaDonna Redmond of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and more.
The summit is made possible by donations from Pentair, Plaisted Companies Inc. and both the Capitol Region and Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed Districts. To register or obtain more information, visit www.arboretum.umn.edu, call 952-443-1422 or email ArbEdu@umn.edu. Registration fee is $50 for Arboretum members and $60 for non-members.
The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is the largest public garden in the Upper Midwest and part of the University of Minnesota College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity employer and educational facility. For more information, visit www.arboretum.umn.edu.