Eric Eckl
Water Words That Work

In the keynote address, Eric Eckl will highlight the positive impact citizens have on conservation at the local level and proven ways to broaden the base of volunteers that will help achieve the goals of the League’s Clean Water Challenge.

Eric Eckl founded Water Words That Work LLC as a marketing and public relations firm for nature-protection and pollution-control organizations. Since 2009, the company has assisted more than 200 conservation organizations, including the National Park Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Southwest Florida Water Management District, Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts, and Ogeechee Riverkeeper.

Before launching Water Words That Work, Eric managed fundraising, media relations, and publishing activities for many conservation organizations. His past employers include Beaconfire Consulting, American Rivers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Eric’s skills include message development, online outreach, market research, training, and business development. He has appeared in countless media stories, including on CNN and in the New York Times, and is a frequent speaker at environmental, marketing, and technology conferences.

Eric Eckl

How the League Helped Aldo Leopold Formulate His Land Ethic

Stanley Temple
Aldo Leopold Foundation

Most people today are unaware that the Izaak Walton League was as a source of information, inspiration, and political influence when Aldo Leopold was developing his ideas about our relationship with nature. Aldo Leopold was an early and lifetime member of the League, and he often relied on the League’s extensive network of local chapters as his eyes and ears on the ground in his conservation endeavors. Professor Temple will retrace that relationship and explain why Leopold’s “land ethic” should be an important component of the League’s water quality initiatives today.

Stanley Temple is the Beers-Bascom Professor Emeritus in Conservation in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology and former chairman of the Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development Program in the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. For 32 years, he held the academic position once occupied by Aldo Leopold, and during that time he won every teaching award for which he was eligible. He and his students have helped save many of the world’s endangered species and the habitats on which they depend. He is currently a senior fellow with the Aldo Leopold Foundation. He has been president of the Society for Conservation Biology and chairman of the board of The Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin.


Halting Harmful Algal Blooms

Dr. Jeffrey Reutter
Ohio State University/Ohio Sea Grant

As harmful algal blooms threaten water quality, public health, and outdoor recreation in waterways across the country, Dr. Jeffrey Reutter will high-light the main causes of algal blooms and the role citizens can play in reducing the threat.

Dr. Reutter is an aquatic biologist and frequent lecturer on the changing Lake Erie ecosystem, harmful algal blooms, aquatic invasive species, and the importance of science communication with the public. He served as director of the Stone Laboratory, Ohio Sea Grant College Program, Center for Lake Erie Area Research, and Great Lakes Aquatic Ecosystem Research Consortium — all run by The Ohio State University — from 1987 to 2015. He is now a part-time special advisor for these programs. He also served on the Council of Great Lakes Research Managers for the International Joint Commission for 21 years. 

Jeff Reutters

Future of Hunting and Shooting Sports

Matt Dunfee
Wildlife Management Institute

The future of hunting and recreational shooting sports — and a significant source of funding for conservation — depends on recruiting new partici-pants. Recruitment has to expand from high school trap shooters and traditional female audiences to include millennials, urban residents, and more ethnically diverse audiences. Matt Dunfee will highlight a national strategy to recruit more hunters and recreational shooters and identify opportunities for the League to help implement that strategy.

Matt Dunfee is the programs manager for the Wildlife Management Institute, a 101-year-old nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to science-based, professional wildlife management. He serves as director of the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance, project coordinator for the North American Hunting Heritage Action Plan, and chair of the National Hunting and Shooting Sports Action Plan. Following his leadership in developing evaluation toolkits for hunter and shooter R3 efforts, Matt has conducted dozens of multi-day training and information workshops for state and federal wildlife agency staff and administrators on R3 strategies, program development, evaluation, and best practices.
Matt Dunfee