Video: Lake Forest Open Lands Hosts Water Ecosystem Expert
Will be part of panel on local water policy with area leaders.
As part of the Center for Conservation Leadership (CCL) program, Lake Forest Open Lands will host water ecosystem expert Kristian Gustavson at 11:30 Thursday (July 22) at Elawa Farm, 1401 Middlefork Drive, in Lake Forest.
Gustavson, the author and driving force behind the advocacy and informational group Below the Surface, will begin the day working with high school students who have been selected to participate in the CCL’s second year High School Leadership program. These students will participate in an internship culminating in a week-long service expedition to New Orleans as part of their summer experience.
Gustavson’s background and passion for the Mississippi River watershed will provide training and first-hand knowledge to help the students understand the interconnectedness and fragility of Lake Michigan, the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico ecosystems.
Tickets are $15 each and available for purchase online at www.lfola.org.
Gustavson will present “Living Upstream: The Midwest’s Role in Restoration of the Louisiana Coastline and the Gulf of Mexico” as well as participate in a panel discussion on local water policy and importance with U.S. Congressman Robert Dold, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Commissioner Debra Shore, and Glenn Adelson, director of Environmental Studies Program at Lake Forest College.
The panel will be moderated by Lake Forest Open Lands director and environmental lawyer, Susan Franzetti of Nijman Franzetti.
Gustavson recently completed his masters degree in the Center for Marine Biodiversity & Conservation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. During an independent research project at Scripps as an undergraduate student, Gustavson learned that the Mississippi River that he grew up near is one of the single greatest carriers of non-point pollution to the oceans in the world.
The resulting hypoxic “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico propelled him into action, launched him on the journey of a lifetime and helped to form the foundation for Below the Surface.
To educate himself and to raise awareness, Gustavson completed a canoe trip down the lower half of the Mississippi River during massive floods and a major oil spill. The venture was inspired by a similar journey his uncles took in 1966.
From the journey, Gustavson created The 90-Day Plan, a series of simple daily solutions people can use that will lead to clean water, upstream and down. His research is focused on using the Mississippi River as one of the solutions to restore the Gulf Coast from damage done by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil blowout disaster.
As the director of explorations and co-founder of Below the Surface, Gustavson has rapidly become a well-known force in the Midwest and south to improve the quality of water in the Mississippi River.