UD faculty to speak at conference on nutrient management, bays
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1:34 p.m., Jan. 5, 2009----University of Delaware faculty from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the College of Marine and Earth Studies will make presentations during a conference on nutrient management and inland bays to be held Wednesday, Jan. 28, at the Atlantic Sands Hotel and Conference Center in Rehoboth Beach.

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Delaware's bays and rivers are tremendous natural resources that define the area and its people. For years, excess nutrient pollution has changed these resources from clear expanses teeming with a diversity of fish and shellfish to murky places dominated by algae.

In response, a decade of cooperation between farmers, industry, universities and government under Delaware's Nutrient Management Program has made remarkable reductions in nutrients, primarily from agricultural lands.

Concurrently, the same lands have experienced unprecedented conversion to development while factors such as climate change and reduction in wetland protection threaten progress made in pollution control.

In light of these changes, a special one-day conference entitled “Frontiers in Nutrient Management: Sources and Solutions in the Inland Bays Watershed” will re-examine the science of nutrient fate, transport, and management. Conference registration and information is available at the web site of the Center for the Inland Bays.

The focus of the conference will be on the data-rich Inland Bays Watershed as a representative case study for the region. Topics range from the effects of climate change on water quality to how sustainable landscaping can reduce pollution. A series of follow-up workshops will develop recommendations for the next 10 years of management, research, and policy.

According to Ed Lewandowski, executive director of the non-profit Center for the Inland Bays, “Delaware's approach to nutrient management over the last ten years has been a national model for success due in large part to the efforts of local farmers. However, our changing landscape presents us with new challenges and opportunities that need to be similarly addressed with actions that will also result in quantifiable improvements to water quality. This conference will provide us an opportunity to not only reflect on our achievements, but to also understand what needs to be accomplished during the next decade to meet our goals.”

The conference is cosponsored by the Delaware departments of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the University of Delaware, the Center for the Inland Bays and the American Society of Agronomy.

Registration is required with a $20 fee, and the conference qualifies for continuing education credits for nutrient management.

University of Delaware faculty members scheduled to speak include:

  • Kent Price, associate professor emeritus of marine and earth studies, on the topic “The Dilema of Delaware's Inland Bays”;
  • Tom Sims, T.A. Baker Professor of Plant and Soil Sciences and associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, on the topic “Ten Years of Progress in Improving Agricultural Nutrient Management learning from the Past to Improve Water Quality in the Future”;
  • Joe Scudlark, laboratory technical coordinator in the College of Marine and Earth Studies, on the topic “Atmospheric Input of Nitrogen and Phosphorous to Delaware's Inland Bays”;
  • Susan Barton, assistant professor of plant and soil sciences and University of Delaware Cooperative Extension specialist, on the topic “Sustainable Landscape Practices in Delaware Public Landscapes”;
  • Greg Binford, associate professor of plant and soil sciences, on the topic “Nutrient Removal by the Commonly Grown Grain Crops in Delaware”;
  • Dave Hansen, associate professor of plant and soil sciences, on the topic “Challenges in Achieving Water Quality Goals with Nutrient Management.”

Sims will also participate in a concluding panel session with representatives from the Delaware Department of Agriculture and Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.