Godfrey, Ill. – The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC) will present its 7th annual public symposia this spring. The conference is focused on bottomland ecosystem restoration, and will take place March 8-10 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Collinsville.
The three-day conference, co-hosted by the U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, will bring together natural resource managers, scientists, decision-makers, non-governmental organizations and additional stakeholders from the Upper Mississippi River System and the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley.
Although multiple topics will be covered, the focus of the conference will be on linking scientific expertise to specific restoration issues in an effort to provide better solutions to ecosystem management problems encountered in the Upper Mississippi River System.
“Restoring the health and vitality of floodplain ecosystems associated with the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers is an important and ongoing component of sustainable river management. This conference will help promote this effort by providing a forum where resource professionals and research scientists can come together to share knowledge, discuss works in progress, and develop and evaluate specific restoration practices,” said Dr. Lyle Guyon, NGRREC’s terrestrial ecologist and conference co-chair.
More than 30 scientists, river managers and other professionals will be featured speakers and panelists discussing topics such as forest trends, climate variability, hydrology and effects of flooding, carbon and nutrient sequestration, ecosystem services, forest establishment, wildlife habitat, invasive plants and insects, forest diseases and many more.
The conference will conclude with a field tour that will include visits to the Chain of Rocks Area, Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary, NGRREC’s Costello Confluence Field Station, a bus tour of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway, and a visit to Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge.
“Conference attendees will be able to visit active bottomland restoration sites featuring different tree planting techniques as well as wetland and prairie restoration projects within the confluence region,” said NGRREC field biologist and conference organizer Megan Dooling. “Site managers will be on hand to discuss the effectiveness and long-term viability of various restoration practices in the Upper Mississippi River Corridor.”
For more information about the conference, or to register, visit www.ngrrec.org
NGRREC is located near the confluence of three great rivers in North America – the Mississippi, Missouri and Illinois. The center’s scientists conduct research on populations of plants and animals and their habitats, and further our understanding of the links among rivers, watersheds and the people who use them. Its terrestrial ecology program works with a variety of natural resource agencies and other stakeholders to monitor, conduct research, and develop management solutions for floodplain forests throughout the Upper Mississippi River System.
NGRREC is a unique educational partnership between Lewis and Clark Community College, the University of Illinois and the Illinois Natural History Survey.
Sponsors for the conference include: the U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern State and Private Forestry; NGRREC; Lewis and Clark Community College; the University of Illinois @ Urbana-Champaign; The Nature Conservancy; Pizzo & Associates, Ltd.; the Illinois Natural History Survey; Southern Illinois University Edwardsville; UIUC’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis District, The Conservation Fund, the Sierra Club, Forest Keeling Nursery, Illinois Society of American Foresters and the Upper Mississippi River Conservation Committee.