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WATERLINE - June, 2011

News from NALMS as we plan for Spokane

By BiJay Adams, NALMS Region 10 Director

At their early April mid-term meeting in Madison, Wisconsin, the NALMS Board of Directors laid out a variety of initiatives for expanding the Society’s reach, effectiveness and financial stability – and continued planning for the upcoming symposium in Spokane. This year’s group of directors and officers includes a mix of new(er) and long-time NALMS members, making a good combination of those grounded in the institutional history of the Society and people with new perspectives to forge the future of NALMS.

It is heartening to see NALMS in a good place financially, despite the difficult economic times. Treasurer Linda Green, also a NEC NALMS member, reported that the Society is in good shape coming out of a full audit done for 2008 and 2009. With more responsible oversight and planning, which Linda is great at, NALMS is becoming more financially sustainable, though we need to diversify our income. Currently, more than half our funding consists of proceeds from the annual symposia.

To secure its future, NALMS is actively working to increase its membership base. We currently have just over 900 members, a number that has been more or less steady for the last few years.  During the “gravy days” of strong federal funding for diagnostic feasibility studies and lake restoration projects, NALMS membership hit an all-time high of about 2,000 members.

Speaking of federal funding, NALMS is developing a team of directors to work with various federal representatives and others to get Section 314 funding reinstated for lake and watershed diagnostic feasibility studies. This would give a much-needed boost to dangerously under-funded and under-staffed lakes programs across the country. We will keep you apprised of their progress and let you know if and when you can help by encouraging your representatives to co-sponsor and support legislation that may move forward.

The Society is also working on several initiatives that would make it easier to keep current on NALMS activities. These include a major overhaul of the website that will go live in the near future, bi-monthly e-newsletter updates, and more regular e-mail updates about conferences and other important events. Improved email communication will also include white papers on critical lake issues like cyanobacteria blooms and toxins, invasive aquatic species and more.

Another initiative critical to the society’s future is a push to increase student participation in NALMS. The Society voted in November to add a student director position to the Board, giving that constituency a voice in NALMS, and strengthening our ties with what we hope will be a significant number of future members and supporters.

And of course everyone in Washington will be interested to know that we are also planning for next fall’s annual NALMS symposium, to take place in Spokane from October 25-28. More information about the conference, themed Diverse and Sustainable Lake Management, can be found online at www.nalms.org.

If you want to stock up on lake-related information, visit the NALMS Book Store. This online ordering resource offers a number of excellent publications – covering topics from basic limnology to how to form a lake association to technical lake and watershed management. Back issues of NALMS’ magazine LakeLine and its technical journal Lake and Reservoir Management are also available. Find the store online here.

These are just a few of the things happening with NALMS.  If you are not yet a member, please join us! NALMS is a friendly mix of citizens, scientists, academics, researchers, consultants, lake associations, resource managers, students, lake-related product manufacturers and distributors, state or regional lake affiliates and others.  There are a variety of membership levels available, many of which include a subscription to either LakeLine or Lake and Reservoir Management or both.

If you’d like to become more active in NALMS:

  • Become a member if you are not one already!
  • Help grow the organization by giving a membership to a coworker, student, client, lake or watershed colleague, friend or family member. Someone you know would certainly benefit from some belonging to this group that strives to protect and enhance lakes and other waterbodies for our future.
  • Volunteer to serve on a NALMS committee, of which there are many. The NALMS Education Committee, Government Affairs Committee, Volunteer Monitoring Committee and others would welcome you.
  • Contribute to the NALMS e-newsletter.  Share news on a project, note or review a great publication you’ve read recently, or provide  information about upcoming events.
  • Attend a NALMS Symposium – how about the one in Spokane next fall?
  • If you are a lakes professional, consider becoming a Certified Lake Manager or Professional Lake Manager. NALMS developed these programs to distinguish professionals who want to achieve higher levels of certification in lake management.
  • Visit the NALMS website at www.nalms.org and let us know what you’d like to see on the site, especially as we move to finalize a new design.
  • Talk to your local politicians and representatives about supporting funding for lake and watershed projects at the state and federal level. Our water resources are precious, in high demand, and at risk. Without protection and funding they will always be in jeopardy.

How can NALMS help you and your group, lake, or community? Please contact me at bijay@libertylake.org and I will gladly share your input and inquiries with the NALMS Board.