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U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary of Policy, Management and Budget Lynn Scarlett, former Wisconsin governor Tony Earl and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Tom Skinner are among the guests scheduled to speak Feb. 12-13 at the “Summit on New Tools for Water Quality in the Fox-Wolf River Basin” at Lawrence University.

Organized by the Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance, the two-day working conference will bring together stakeholders from the government, business, academic, agricultural and nonprofit sectors to explore how to most effectively integrate emerging regulatory and incentive-based innovations into ongoing efforts to limit nutrient loading into the Fox and Wolf river basins. The lower Fox River basin currently has the highest concentration of Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) waters of anywhere in the state.

Skinner, a 1983 graduate of Lawrence, opens the summit Thursday, Feb. 12 at 9:15 p.m. in Lawrence’s Science Hall, Room 102 with the keynote address “Regional/Great Lakes Water Quality.” Skinner has served as the EPA’s Region 5 administrator since 2001 and is responsible for implementing federal environmental programs in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. In addition, he serves as EPA Great Lakes National Program Manager and U.S. Chair of the Binational Executive Committee for the Great Lakes, the main forum for U.S.-Canadian discussions on Great Lakes issues.

On Friday, Feb. 13, at 12 noon in Downer Commons, Scarlett presents “The National Water Policy.” Prior to joining the Bush administration in July 2001, Scarlett served as president of the Los Angeles-based Reason Foundation, a nonprofit current affairs research and communications organization. She spent 15 years as director of the Reason Public Policy Institute, the policy research division of the foundation, where her research interests focused on environmental, land use and natural resources issues.

Earl will close the summit Friday, Feb. 13 at 2:15 p.m. in Downer Commons with the keynote address “Where Do We Go From Here?” Earl, Wisconsin governor from 1983-87, is a partner with the Quarles & Brady law firm in Madison, handling environmental issues. He also serves as the chair of the board of directors of the Center for Clean Air Policy, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization that promotes innovative solutions to environmental and energy problems and spent 15 years as a member of the board of directors of the Great Lakes Protection Fund, which supports collaborative actions to improve the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem.

“This summit is bringing some highly ranked federal and state water quality experts to Lawrence to discuss new strategies to improve water quality in the Fox River, Green Bay and Lake Michigan,” said George Meyer, former Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources secretary and current Scarff memorial visiting professor of environmental studies at Lawrence. “This is a wonderful opportunity for the citizens of the Fox Valley and northeast Wisconsin to offer direct input into policies to improve water quality in their area.”

In addition to several technical sessions, the summit will include panels on regulatory framework and market incentives from both rural and urban perspectives.

Based in Appleton, the Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance is an independent, non-profit organization that identifies issues and advocates effective policies and actions to protect, restore and sustain the water resources of Wisconsin’s Fox-Wolf River Basin.