Great Lakes are focus of symposium in Port Saturday

Experts to discuss freshwater ecosystem, fishery and shipwrecks
Ozaukee Press staff

osystem and fishery and the shipwrecks that litter the lakebed will be the speakers for the second annual Love Our Great Lakes Day in Port Washington on Saturday, June 29.

“It’s really a celebration of the lake — both Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes,” organizer Bill Moren said. “We look out on the lake everyday, and you can’t do that and not find a real appreciation for its beauty, its impact on our history and its future.”

While last years’s celebration took place in February, Moren said the date was moved to June so people could enjoy the lake.

“In the morning, you end up learning about things you never knew about that increase your appreciation of the lake and the afternoon is filled with fun and celebration just being around the lake,” he said.

The event kicks off at 9:30 a.m. at First Congregational Church with talks by three experts — Titus Seilhaimer, who will discuss “Not Your Father’s Great Lake: Lake Michigan’s Changing Ecosystem,” Victoria Kiefer, whose talk is titled “Shipwrecks of Our Shores,” and John Janssen, who will discuss “Underwater Mapping the Milwaukee Harbor and Helping Restore Fisheries.”

“All three of these speakers are hands-on,” Moren said. “These are people who care deeply about the lakes.”

Seilhaimer, he said, is a fisheries expert who has investigated the changes to the structure of the food web of the Great Lakes and its ecosystem while Kiefer is a diver who has worked with the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Maritime Preservation and Archaeology program.

Janssen, a fisheries biologist and professor with the School of Freshwater sciences, has been mapping the Milwaukee harbor with an eye toward how the man-made structures there have created a natural habitat, Moren said.

A question-and-answer period will follow the talks.

Susan Bence, an environmental reporter for WUWM radio, will be the moderator.

The Dixieland group Five Foot Two will also perform.

The talks are expected to break up at about noon, with those attending encouraged to visit the lakefront, marina and downtown shops and restaurants, many of which will have specials tied to the Love Our Great Lake theme.

“We want to drive a little business downtown,” Moren said.

The Arts Council will have several activities from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., including printmaking, hand-coloring linocuts, making cyanotypes and watching plein air artists.

There will also be free admission to the Light Station and the Port Exploreum from 1 to 4 p.m.  

The Exploreum’s current exhibit, “Murmurs From the Deep,” will be supplemented by the hands-on learning lab and live music for the day.

Another draw will be the Great Lakes Sport Fishing Tournament.

“If you think about the lake, it’s really been the driver of our city,” Moren said. “You think back to the shipping and commerce that dates to the founding of the city. You think of commercial fishing when they took out over a million pounds of fish a year. Now there’s sport fishing and tourism.

“It’s been the center of our community, and it is changing and evolving. It is a great resource, and it is our responsibility to care for it the best we can.”



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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