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New Speaker Series Offers "Practical Water Wisdom" to Help Protect Waters in Itasca County

A decorative image of pristine water in Itasca County
Itasca Waters
The "Practical Water Wisdom" speaker series begins Thursday, April 7th at noon.

Ice-out stubbornly refuses to take hold here in Itasca County, and local non-profit Itasca Waters is launching a new informational series for when the thaw finally arrives. The series, Practical Water Wisdom, will feature monthly virtual presentations by experts in a variety of water-related fields who are dedicated to sharing scientific information and practical advice to help protect the waters of Itasca County. The first presentation in the Water Wisdom series is this Thursday, April 7th at noon. Stephanie Kessler, a member of the Itasca Waters Advisory Board, spoke with KAXE’s Heidi Holtan and Kari Hedlund to share more information about the series. For the full Morning Show interview, click the player above to listen.

According to Kessler, the first presentation in Water Wisdom is Thursday, April 7th at noon. The virtual presentation is by Dr. John Downing, Director of the Sea Grant College Program, and a research scientist with a PhD in Biology from McGill University. His presentation is called “Clear Information on Murky Lakes: How to Keep Them Minnesota Nice” and will explain why waters in this region are losing clarity faster than in other areas. This talk gives reasons for these changes and practical advice on how to keep from damaging our region’s valuable lakes and streams.

In northern Minnesota, where water is important to everyone, the Water Wisdom series’ focus is on educating all. According to Kessler, “Water Wisdom focuses on education and research for lake water quality assessments. We are all truly impacted by water, so everyone should be interested. The series is for all people.”

The Water Wisdom presentations take place on the first Thursday of each month, now through November. The presentations take place at noon and are all online for convenience. “We encourage people to sign up because it's free and easy. You can eat lunch while you're learning about how to protect the water that we all love and use,” Kessler said.

Each session has a specific focus, so there will be some sessions that will appeal to people with specific interests. For example, in June the Water Wisdom topic is “Septic Systems,” which will be more applicable to those who own waterfront property. However, all of the sessions will be geared to a general audience. “Certain topics are better for certain groups. But topics like climate change and forever chemicals are applicable to all,” Kessler said.

The format of the Water Wisdom sessions is designed to be practical as well. Each presentation in the series will feature a science review on the topic, but will also focus on what individuals should know and do to help build their own water wisdom. “Each speaker will give some solutions and actions that people can do in their house today,” Kessler said. “Septic systems are a really fun topic. They are totally controlled by personal behavior; everyone has a choice and responsibility to put appropriate things down the drain. Properly functioning septics are an important factor in water quality because you control your water quality on your lake.”

“What about flushable wipes?” asked Holtan.

“No! They’re horrible! There’s no such thing as a flushable wipe!” said Kessler.

To register for Thursday’s session, “Clear Information on Murky Lakes” or more information about the Practical Water Wisdom speaker series including bios and topics of each of the monthly sessions, visit their website here.