In an effort to advance talks about shoreline land-use and regulation, Initiative Foundation and Explore Minnesota Tourism will host a statewide conference entitled “Sharing our Shores – The Future of Commercial Shoreland in Minnesota.” The full-day conference is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday, March 2 at the Timbermist Conference Center in Brainerd.
According to Initiative Foundation president Kathy Gaalswyk, Minnesota’s commercial shoreland has skyrocketed in value, prompting more high-density developments around lakes and rivers. This trend has many stakeholder groups debating effects on water quality and public access as well as how to fairly regulate future developments.
“Every group shares the same basic goal of preserving water quality for future generations,” Gaalswyk said. “We want to provide an opportunity for people to come together, learn about the issue and hear the perspectives and concerns of all stakeholders.”
Resort and shoreland business owners, government officials, planning and zoning administrators, environmental advocates, economic development professionals, outdoors enthusiasts and the public are encouraged to attend the conference.
Speakers will discuss the value of shoreland businesses to local economies, how developments affect water quality, and new regulatory efforts and pilot programs. Speakers include Gaalswyk and:
Randall Arendt, Author and Land-Use Planning Expert
Commissioner Sheryl Corrigan, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
John Edman, Explore Minnesota Tourism
Russ Schultz, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
“At the end of the day, we hope the collective ideas and opinions shared at the conference will lead to some promising next steps for businesses and local officials,” said Don Hickman, Initiative Foundation environmental specialist. “Our hope is to find solutions that preserve our environment and strengthen our economy, both of which are key to healthy communities.”
Conference registration is $25 per person, including lunch and materials. The deadline is Monday, February 28. For information or to register, call Don Hickman at 1-877-632-9255 toll-free.