Floating Workshops on the Water inform local leaders about water and land use management

This summer, hundreds of leaders from many Minnesota communities will take to the water, but instead of fishing, water skiing, or recreating they will be participating in a Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO)-sponsored educational workshop. NEMO Workshops-on-the-Water have been educating local officials for more than 10 years providing hands-on learning to local policy-makers, building their knowledge of various plans, practices, and policies involved in water and land use management. 

NEMO is a nationally recognized educational program for local elected and appointed decision makers whose purpose is informing local policy-makers about the relationship between land use and natural resource protection. “Our mission is to help Minnesota and Wisconsin communities better protect natural resources while accommodating growth and redevelopment,” says NEMO educator John Bilotta.

Bilotta is planning three NEMO Workshops-on-the-Water for August and September.  Each workshop is tailored to a community’s unique character and challenges as city officials balance economic growth with preservation of local water resources. A workshop on Lake Minnetonka will focus on integration of watershed and municipal comprehensive plans. A fall workshop on the St. Croix River will highlight new stormwater policies for communities along the river and the value of this National Scenic Riverway. Southwest metro area leaders will participate in a workshop on the Minnesota River and will learn about shoreland erosion and sediment in local streams, lakes and the river and efforts they can support to minimize impacts.

NEMO will also offer a Lessons across the Landscape workshop (a land-based bus tour experience)  in Minneapolis, emphasizing the impact of land use on urban water resources.  This workshop will tour and explore various community stormwater projects and relate those to the multiple benefits they provide including pollution prevention.

​These NEMO workshops are intended for elected and appointed officials and community leaders.  Participation is by invite only as a way to offer a true workshop experience for specific communities.  

For more information contact John Bilotta:  jbilot002@umn.edu

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