Become immersed in a world of algae at Muskoka watershed conference

[Canada] Plans are well underway for Fifty Shades of Green. Although the title of this year’s Muskoka Stewardship Conference plays on the popularity of the Fifty Shades of Grey books and movies, the subject matter of the symposium is not quite as risqué.

The conference organized by the Muskoka Watershed Council and the District of Muskoka is being held in Port Carling on Friday, May 12 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Port Carling Community Centre.

Although algae may not seem a sexy subject, it is an important one — particularly for lakes and the populations who inhabit them.

“All of our lakes naturally contain algae. Without algae, lakes would be essentially dead, unable to sustain fish and other creatures,” states the watershed council website. “Different species of algae become abundant at different times of the year, and if conditions are ideal, they can form a bloom.”

Reports of blue-green algal blooms, for instance, have been increasing and no longer foreign to Muskoka’s watershed.

The environmental conference will teach why algae is important, how it is changing in Muskoka’s lakes, and what individuals can do to help protect lakes from nuisance blooms.

Organizers already have some of the key players in place.

“We have Charles Trick from the University of Western Ontario as the keynote speaker. Andrew Paterson, Michelle Palmer and Jim Rusak from the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change are also confirmed,” said watershed planning technician Rebecca Willison. “Andrew will be talking about the importance of algae and algal dynamics (to ensure everyone has a good base of understanding), Michelle will talk about the trends we are seeing in algae communities and blooms, and Jim will talk about monitoring algae.”

They are lining up more speakers, but are also seeking sponsorship. Any organization interested in sponsoring or supporting the 2017 Muskoka Stewardship Conference is welcome to contact them at info@muskokawatershed.org or call 705-645-2100, ext. 387, to discuss options.

Registration for the conference — which includes refreshments and lunch — is $60 until April 15, $75 after April 15, and $45 for students. More information about the conference is available at muskokawatershed.org.

View original article at: Become immersed in a world of algae at Muskoka watershed conference

 

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