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Workshop Looks into Lake Ontario Ecosystem’s Future
Great Lakes Sustainable Recreational and Commercial Fisheries - Press Release

November 8th Workshop Looks into Lake Ontario Ecosystem’s Future

Contact: David B. MacNeill, New York Sea Grant, 315-312-3042

OSWEGO, NY, October 22, 2008 - Rapid and considerable ecological changes to the Lake Ontario ecosystem are affecting how energy is passed on through the lake’s food web. The question is how can scientists, fisheries managers, and citizens recognize and respond to the changes in the lake that is critically important to the economic well-being of New York State and the Canadian Province of Ontario?

On Saturday, November 8th from 9:30am to 3pm, the Cornell Biological Field Station at Shackelton Point, the Cornell College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, and New York Sea Grant are offering a free public workshop to provide information and insights into food web indicators of the health, condition and challenges of the Lake Ontario ecosystem, including its fisheries.

The workshop will be held in the Campus Center Auditorium Room 118 at the SUNY Oswego campus in Oswego, NY. Space is limited, so please pre-register for this event by Monday, November 3.

New York Sea Grant Fisheries Specialist David B. MacNeill says he would like to see public stakeholders, scientists; fisheries association representatives and anyone seriously interested in the Lake Ontario ecosystem attend and interact at the workshop.

“Anyone interested in the Lake Ontario ecosystem already knows how complex a system it is. Many of the changes taking place are not directly observable, but must be interpreted through various food web indicators. This workshop will focus on the wide range of indicators, including long-term trends, which support our understanding of the Lake Ontario resource,” MacNeill says. 

MacNeill notes that those attending will leave with a better working knowledge of the Lake Ontario ecosystem and insights on the lake’s future from scientists from both the U.S. and Canada.

The workshop agenda to be moderated by MacNeill, includes presentations on:
• The State of Lake Ontario: Lessons learned and current understanding:  Dr. Edward L. Mills, Cornell University Biological Field Station at Shackelton Point

• Nutrients, Algae, and Zooplankton and Food Quality:  New insights on balancing nutrition and ecosystem health in the Lake Ontario food web: Dr. Kimberly L. Shultz, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse

• Connections between the Lower Food Web and Alewife: Fueling alewife and links to the lower Lake Ontario food web:  Robert “Bob” O’Gorman, U.S. Geological Survey Biological Field Station at Oswego (retired)

• Zooplankton: Indicators of Ecosystem Change: Tiny crustaceans and Lake Ontario’s crystal ball - Are they connected? Kristen Holeck, Cornell University

• Managing the Lake Ontario Resource: Decision-Making Tools: Steve LaPan, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Lake Ontario Unit Leader and Gavin Christie, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Lake Ontario Management Unit biologist

• What Does the Future Hold for Lake Ontario? Lake Ontario through the looking glass:  Dr. Tim Johnson, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Lake Ontario Management Unit researcher.  

For registration information for The Future of the Lake Ontario Ecosystem: Is there a crystal ball? Workshop and a campus map, contact New York Sea Grant at 315-312-3042, slm22@cornell.edu. Registration deadline is Monday, November 3, 2008

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