Two-hour discussion at SOLEC on Great Lakes islands being planned

Spent today on telephone and email crafting interactive session for this year’s State of the Great Lakes Conference (SOLEC) in Erie, PA, in late October. Such fun to be back in the saddle. Partners Dan Kraus of Nature Conservancy Canada and Dave Ewert of The Nature Conservancy will present and update the 2010 “Islands of Life” report. They’ll provide lake-by-lake assessments including for Georgian Bay islands and the Beaver archipelago. Linda Wires and Francie Cuthbert of University of Minnesota will provide a new presentation on colonial-nesting waterbirds and their recently funded 2012 monitoring of 100 islands of particular importance to these amazing birds.

We’ll devote much of the two hours to asking session participants help the Great Lakes Islands Network determine next steps. Ideas we are considering include regional reporting, working on a uniform Great Lakes coastal ecosystem classification system, and assistance to island communities, researchers, managers, and owners.

So please come to Erie, PA, October 26 and 27, to help guide the future of Great Lakes islands! The islands session is set for Wednesday afternoon. Here are some links to SOLEC: Binational.net and US EPA.  On these sites are links to past SOLEC reports on critical Great Lakes issues and lake-by-lake assessments.

Deepening commitment to the islands, coasts, and lakes

I spent five days along the shores of Lake Michigan at a writing retreat arranged with friend and novelist Jane Hoppe.  I focused on my August 2011 circling of Lake Superior to experience and explore the islands and coasts.  I fleshed out the chapter outline for my book and finalized the interview protocol for the interviews I will conduct during field research around the lakes.  Somehow the soulful depth of this journey has taken hold and I wonder how my life will now unfold.