Seventeenth annual River Symposium to be held this weekend

Bridgette Simpson , News Editor

The event will boast several presentations from watershed scientists and engineers on an array of topics relevant to the river, including health, resiliency, art, community partnerships and renewable energy. 

This symposium brings together people with common interest, research and experience in river and ecological conservation and protection, and provides an opportunity for the general public to interact with presenters through detailed descriptions of their presentations as well as targeted breakout discussions.  

More than 150 faculty, students and other professionals will present on an array of rivers all over the United States in oral and poster presentations. 

“Voices include Native American leaders, scientists from across the United States, and professional fly fishermen who earn their living working on the water,” Ben Hayes, director of the BCSE Watershed Sciences and Engineering Program, said. “There will be oral and poster presentations from universities, conservancies, emergency response officials, and state and federal agencies. There is something for everyone.”

The keynote speaker will be Sid Hill, Tadodaho [chief] of the Onondaga and Keeper of the Flame of the Six Nation Haudenosaunee Confederacy. 

“The giveback is an opportunity to apply traditional ecological knowledge to renew our stewardship obligations to restore these lands and waters and to preserve them for the future generations yet to come,” Hill said. 

Hill travels across the country frequently to advocate for environmental protection and conservation. This past summer, more than 1,000 acres of land were returned to the Onondaga at their base in Syracuse, N.Y. This marked the largest land return in New York State history. Hill’s speech will precede the rest of the event, which will conclude at 10 p.m. Friday night after presentations from roughly 100 students and faculty from other universities. 

Saturday morning will consist of several different presentations by experts and professionals, including the president and executive director of the American Indian Law Alliance Betty Lyons, renowned fly-fishing coach, guide and author Lance Wilt, in addition to Jeff Janvrin, a habitat specialist from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Saturday afternoon will follow with additional oral presentations from a plethora of other environmental organizations, primarily from across the region. 

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