River Talk series ends season with exploration of Sea Grant’s past and future

The final River Talk for this season turns its focus to series partner Wisconsin Sea Grant, as the organization celebrates its 50th anniversary year.

On Wednesday, May 11, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in person at the Lake Superior Estuarium (3 Marina Dr., Superior, Wisconsin) and from 7 to 8 p.m. on Zoom, Sea Grant Director Jim Hurley will present, “Sea Grant at 50: Looking Back, Moving Forward,” examining the formation of this science-based organization devoted to the sustainable use and protection of Great Lakes resources. He’ll also discuss Sea Grant’s current work and where it is headed as it looks ahead to the next 50 years.

The in-person event will begin with social time featuring cake and refreshments. Hurley’s presentation will begin at 7 p.m. and will be available virtually (see Zoom link below).

Hurley is also a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests include the cycling of mercury in the Great Lakes. He is the third director in Wisconsin Sea Grant’s history, having taken the helm in 2012. From 2017 to 2019, he also served as president of the national Sea Grant Association.

“I’m fortunate to be able to build on the foundation laid by my predecessors, founding director Bob Ragotzkie and Anders Andren,” Hurley said. “As the Sea Grant program was being created on the national level in the 1960s, Ragotzkie really stood up for the Great Lakes to ensure that these inland seas were a part of the program, and not just our ocean coasts. We are still reaping the benefits of his vision. We’re also actively considering how we can best serve the people of Wisconsin and the Great Lakes in our present moment and moving forward.”

Wisconsin Sea Grant works in many areas, from commercial fisheries and aquaculture, to aquatic invasive species, to dealing with emerging contaminants in our water. It is a program of the University of Wisconsin System, with headquarters on the Madison campus and additional staff at field offices around the state, including Superior, Green Bay, Manitowoc, Milwaukee and Kenosha County.

The organization also funds a robust portfolio of Great Lakes- and water-related research conducted at campuses around the state.

Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 953 4582 3876
Passcode: 306955
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+13017158592,,95345823876# US (Washington DC)
+13126266799,,95345823876# US (Chicago)  

The River Talks are sponsored by The Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve and the Wisconsin Sea Grant Program.