UW-Green Bay’s Environmental Management and Business Institute (EMBI) had another successful event with the 2012 installment of its annual Earth Week symposium.
Titled “Water — Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” this year’s conference gave attendees — many of them high school students who work as part of the Lower Fox River Watershed Symposium Watershed project — an avenue to think about environmental concerns in a sustainable manner.
Among the many highlights, about 100 people heard the inspiring presentation by Chad Pregracke, who started single-handedly cleaning up the Mississippi River, and has now grown his nonprofit Living Lands & Waters organization to the largest river clean-up effort in the world with multiple barges and thousands of volunteers working side-by-side with his small paid staff. The community was also treated to two showings of Tapped, an award-winning documentary that takes a close look at the big business of bottled water.
Among other conference activities were tours of Renard Island, the Fox River Cleanup Facility and other area locations; as well as breakout sessions on various tracks (business, regulatory, and water and economic development). Area high school students showcased their work through the annual Lower Fox River Watershed Symposium.
Madison Richards, Sinclair Richards, and Samantha Noll, high school students from Racine, Wis., presented information on point-of-use water filtration and chemical treatment systems which are being implemented in Kenya and the Dominican Republic. Award-winning documentarians, the team of girls traveled to both countries and filmed the impact that these simple point-of-use filtration devices, which provide clean water, can have on people’s health and lives. Funded by The Dow Chemical Company and The Keystone Science School, the resulting documentary is used as an introduction to a curriculum unit that The Keystone Center designed for high school and middle school students, titled “The Balanced Equation.”
Victoria Harris was presented with the Alumni Earth Caretaker Award for her lengthy career in the water quality and habitat restoration. (See the full feature here.) Presenting her the honor was last year’s recipient, Paul Wozniak, and Prof. John Katers, co-director of EMBI.
Established in 2008, EMBI helps strengthen UW-Green Bay’s leadership position in the promotion of environmental awareness and eco-friendly initiatives. The annual Green Innovations conference, part of its primary mission, features international experts and local panelists who provide insight on topics including sustainability in transportation, wind energy and regional health and sustainability.
– Photos by Marketing and University Communication staff and student photographer Lindsey Przybylski.