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On the Water Front

Hosted by Lynn Broaddus, Ph.D. MBA | Director, Environment Programs

Madison, Wisconsin: A City of (Rain) Gardens

Last Friday I, along with about a dozen others affiliated with The Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was treated to a tour of some of Madison’s stormwater control projects, hosted by Greg Fries, the principle engineer for the City of Madison’s Storm and Sanitary Sewer Section.  I’ve seen a lot of rain gardens in my day, but I was especially interested in hearing from Greg and seeing Madison’s

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Navigating to New Shores

With the shoreline in sight and the wind at our backs, the last few weeks have gone by quickly.  It’s been more than six years since The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread decided to try out a new approach to its convenings.  With that in mind, they brought me onto the team in late 2008 to bring into shape a still-forming concept about how to strategically use their resources to have deep impact on an issue the Foundation cared about: our country’s freshwater resources.

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Navigating to New Shores Release at WEFTEC

The following remarks were given by Lynn Broaddus at a press conference announcing the culminating report, Navigating to New Shores: Seizing the Future for Sustainable and Resilient Freshwater Resources, during WEFTEC in New Orleans, Sept. 29, 2014. 

For more than 50 years, The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread has been convening the nation’s leading thinkers to address the challenging issues of our day. We have a history of taking on big issues and having big impact.

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Big problems start in little packages: Blue-Green Algae in our waters

Paddling on the Wisconsin River is one of the best kept secrets in the Midwest.  The state’s namesake river cuts diagonally across Wisconsin, winding a lazy, sandy path through some of the state’s most stunning scenery on its way to join the Mississippi. One of my favorite features is the sand bars that dot much of the length. These are largely publicly owned and available for picnics and overnight camping on a first-come, first-served basis.  On a beautiful summer weekday, you can pretty much have the river and its sandbars to yourself. 

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The Link Between Corn Futures and Water Futures

Ceres has done it again. With the release of “Water & Climate Risks Facing U.S. Corn Production: How Companies & Investors Can Cultivate Sustainability” the team of Boston braniacs moved the agricultural sustainability conversation forward by a giant step, and without ever asking, “Mother, may I?” For more than 25 years, Ceres has been bringing capitalists and environmentalists together with the understanding that environmental sustainability and financial sustainability go hand-in-hand.

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Flushing Away a PhD: Where Ecology and Sanitation Meet

Last weekend I had the great fun of attending a reunion of sorts for those of us who shared Dr.

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When Life is Tough, Take a Leap

Life can be overwhelming, can’t it? There are times when the problems seem insurmountable, when you just don’t know how to go on. Even for me, blessed with unimaginable good fortune, there are times like this winter when I had to literally will myself to put one foot in front of the other because standing, paralyzed at the top of the stairs wasn’t going to solve anything. That’s more personal than I usually get, but Earth Day, especially this Earth Day, is personal for me.

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Money Matters

Water is in an odd quandary relative to financial matters.  On the one hand, money is the quickest translator for people and is the way they can most easily understand the cost, rarity and importance of most items in life, and then make decisions relative to their own priorities and financial capabilities. Why, then, is there so little attention to these matters when it comes to water?

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Waste Not, Want Not: A Phosphorus Tale

As usual, Ben Franklin had it largely right with his sage advice: “Waste not, want not.” Take phosphorus, for instance.

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Clean Water is No Accident

Where were you when you first heard about Freedom Industry’s contamination of the Elk River and the 300,000 people who depend on it for daily water? I remember it well: I was driving east on I-94 toward Milwaukee, returning from an afternoon meeting. It caught my attention because my mother’s roots are in Charleston, W.V., and our family has a long, loved history with the Elk.

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