The mission of the Rotary Lake Erie Watershed Crisis Conference was for US and Canadian Rotarians to facilitate and encourage discussions, partnerships and solutions for water management throughout the Lake Erie Watershed. The conference was held at the Grand Plaza Hotel Toledo.
Following the Lake Erie toxic algae/water crisis of August 2014, which made the water in Toledo’s regional water system “undrinkable” for nearly three days for over 400,000 residents, Toledo Rotary was urged by Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D, Toledo) to make a difference bringing forward the issue of safe drinking water in Lake Erie. This same condition threatens the waters of Green Bay, WI, Saginaw Bay MI and other waters in the Great Lakes which touch US and Canadian shores.
Clean water and especially drinking water has long been a priority for Rotary International resulting in this conference being supported at the highest levels. The conference featured many exciting keynote speakers along with other distinguished, invited guests and speakers from federal and state government, universities, along with the agricultural and environmental communities.
Karl Gebhardt, Deputy Director for Water Resources Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, spoke at the conference. He coordinates efforts for addressing water quality resource issues related to harmful algae and other nutrient issues affecting Lake Erie and Ohio’s inland waters.