Thursday, April 9, 2015 River Summit Events


River Summit 2015 logo


Today’s events will be held at the Grand Wayne Convention Center in downtown Fort Wayne Indiana.

Registration begins at 8 am.


8:30 am to 9:30 am – Opening General Session

  • Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) – Current issues and opportunities with Carrie Vollmer-Sanders, The Nature Conservancy and Dan Wire with the Tri-State Watershed Alliance
  • Turning opportunities into realities: Urban rivers restoration and management with Keith Bowers, President and Founder of Biohabitats, Inc.


9:30 am to 9:45 am – Break

9:45 am to 10:45 am – General Session

  • Rivers as an economic driver with Don Steininger of the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne and John Sampson with the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.
  • Our rivers role in solving Lake Erie’s nutrient loading and harmful algal bloom problems with Dr. Jeffrey M. Reutter who is the Director of the Ohio Sea Grant College Program at Stone Laboratory
  • Perspective from a Lake Erie Charter Boat Captain with Captain Dave Spangler


10:50 am to 11:50 am Concurrent Session 1 (Choose 1 session)

  • Why are our rivers brown? with Scot Haley of the Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Why do flood stages keep rising – Our fault or Mother Nature’s?!
    Siavash Biek, Vice-President of Christopher B. Burke Engineering
  • Water quality impacts: shared responsibilities
    “Urban opportunities” – Anne Marie Smrchek with the City of Fort Wayne Utilities
    “Agriculture opportunities” with Jim Lake of the Tri-State Watershed Alliance


12:00 pm to 1:45 pm Lunch Keynotes

  • Welcome from City of Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry
  • Video of the late Mayor D. Michael Collins from the City of Toledo and video welcome from U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly
  • History of the rivers with Matt Jones and Old Fort Wayne representatives


2:00 pm to 3:20 pm – General Session

  • Clean water initiatives
    “Urban Initiatives” Long Term Control Plan: Tunnel Project with City of Fort Wayne Utilities staff
    “Agriculture Initiatives” – Jane Hardisty with the USDA/NRCS State Conservationist
  • Riverfront revitilization with Pam Holocher, City of Fort Wayne
  • Recreation opportunities
    Tim Hall, owner of the Fort Wayne Outfitters & Bike Depot
    Dawn Ritchie, City of Fort Wayne Greenways Manager
    Rory Robinson, National Park Service


3:20 pm to 3:30 pm – Break

3:30 pm to 4:30 pm – Closing General Session

  • Grow Innovation with Ted McKinney, Director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture
  • Watershed mentality revisited for economics opportunities, Lauren Zuber, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership
  • Final thoughts and wrap up with Dan Wire, Tri-State Watershed Alliance


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