River Summit 2015: But what about the Rivers?


River Summit 2015 logo


News release from the Tri-State Watershed Alliance:

River Summit 2015 – APRIL 8th, 9th, AND 11th 2015
But what about the Rivers?

(April 6, 2015) – For three days this week, the Tri-State Watershed Alliance will be hosting the 2015 River Summit in downtown Fort Wayne Indiana at the Grand Wayne Convention Center. The summit will bring together agriculture and urban groups to discuss, experience, and celebrate our most valuable resource – WATER.

Regionally, there is a lot of interest in our three rivers. Not only does Fort Wayne have designs on its rivers – but so does New Haven, Decatur, Auburn, Defiance OH and Bluffton on the Wabash just to name a few.

But, are the rivers Safe to be on?

What can the rivers offer as Quality of Place opportunities?

What Economic Development opportunities are possible as a result of better understanding our rivers?

The 2015 River Summit will bring experts from across the region, country, and locally to take a hard factual approach to these three questions.

“The community has seen the culmination of 18 months of planning for Riverfront Development. A big question in some minds is, ‘What about the Rivers themselves?'” said Tri-State Watershed Alliance Executive Director Dan Wire. “This river summit will answer that question and demonstrate that our rivers can become the asset that our community desires to have.”

At the conclusion of the Summit we expect the participants to be empowered with the knowledge they have gained to:

  • Know and act on what they can do safely on the rivers and when to be cautious
  • Understand the many ongoing efforts underway to improve our rivers and how they can become involved
  • Realize the potential the rivers hold for attracting and retaining quality workforce talent and in turn business

Allen County Commissioner Nelson Peters said, “We are happy to partner with so many other worthy stakeholders in sponsoring the second River Summit. The outpouring of support for this event is a testament to what the three rivers represent in helping to grow Allen County and the Northeast Indiana community.”

The 2015 River Summit will bring together professional organizations on Wednesday, April 8th, to meet in one location providing an opportunity for their collaboration on pressing water issues. The sessions are closed to the public.

Participants in those meetings come from Ohio, Michigan and across Indiana representing Federal, State and local governments. Some will be working on plans to implement over $14 million is water improvement programs throughout the larger watershed, the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB). Fort Wayne is at the headwaters of the WLEB.

Wednesday evening is also open to the public and will feature Keith Bowers and Chad Pregracke, nationally recognized leaders, beginning at 6 pm

Keith Bowers is the President and Founder of Biohabitats, Inc. (www.biohabitats.com), one of the firms involved in the downtown riverfront plan. His address will focus on, “Watershed Thinking – Taking a Holistic Approach”.

Chad Pregracke, President and founder Living Lands & Waters. (www.livinglandsandwaters.org). Chad was named Hero of the Year in 2013 by CNN. Chad was the recipient of the Jefferson Award for Public Service. His talk is titled “From the Bottom Up: One Man’s Crusade to Clean America’s Rivers”

On Thursday, April 9th, a full day of information and education sessions for residents and professionals alike. The focus of the day will be to better understand the current state of our rivers as well as the opportunities our rivers offer for economic growth and community building. Over twenty presenters will cover all facets of our rivers including: Ecology/Conservation, Recreation and Economic Development.

The last day of the 2015 River Summit is Saturday April 11th. This day will be family-focused on and along our rivers. Free activities and experiences will be provided along the St. Marys River between the Historic Wells Street Bridge and City of Fort Wayne’s Water Filtration Plant.

Attendees are asked to “tweet” about their experiences and information learned using the hashtag, #RiverFrontFW. The Tri-State Watershed Alliance is on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/TriWatershed and on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tri-State-Watershed-Alliance/1385770741733480.

Please can join us for some. All of this event will showcase the importance of our rivers and water resources to the economic health of the region. For more information including the agenda and other details about the activities on Saturday, please visit our website.


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