A memo from WRC Interim Director Faye Sleeper
This year I was pleased to attend the annual Board of Water and Soil Resources tour in the north east metropolitan area, where we saw some of the successful projects funded in part by Clean Water Funds and Minnesota general funds. Implementing projects in urbanized and growing population areas poses its own set of challenges. One of the common challenges throughout the state is engaging willing land owners and good partners. We are fortunate in Minnesota to have many of both. As one of the projects illustrated, partnership creation can take years, requiring persistence, and in some cases conversations with elected officials as well as local agency staff. I think this is a lesson that those of us in the profession can forget, that it takes long-term partnerships to accomplish the work of protecting and restoring our urban and rural water resources.
The upcoming annual Minnesota Water Resources Conference (highlighted in this Minnegram issue) is a time to re-connect with others doing this important water resources work. In addition to learning about new research, successful implementation activities and examples of effective engagement, it is a time to network and to become re-energized in our work. We are grateful for the planning committee, who puts hours of work into meetings, making phone calls and reviewing papers. This conference has grown and is seen as a premier water conference by many outside of our state as the result of the vision of Deborah Swackhamer, (featured in this Minnegram issue) who saw an opportunity to bring together two conferences so that we can all learn from and engage with researchers, implementers and policy makers in the water resources profession here in Minnesota.
As Deb continues her journey into retirement, this is a very small example of the impact she has had as Co-director of the Water Resources Center, professor and researcher over these many years, as you will see in the article. We look forward to Deb engaging in ways that are fulfilling to her within the water resources community.
Interim Director, Water Resources Center