Press Release

Conservation at a Crossroad: Putting Solutions into Action -- Izaak Walton League National Convention July 27-29, 2023, Lincoln, Nebraska


Izaak Walton League of America

2023 National Convention Agenda

Media contact: Michael Reinemer,

THURSDAY, July 27, 2023
Cornhusker Marriott (Lancaster 4, 5 & 6)       
9:00 am   Convention Call to Order 
Parade of Colors, Boy Scout Troop #8, Pledge of Allegiance           
Izaak Walton League of America Pledge
Welcome to Lincoln
Wes Sheets, National Director, Nebraska Division
Kim Morrow, Chief Sustainability Officer, City of Lincoln             
Convention Welcome, Vicki Arnold, National President   
Executive Board Report, Jim Piateski, Chair
Executive Director Report, Scott Kovarovics               

11:00 am  Nature’s Best Hope: Restoring Nature at Home
Dr. Doug Tallamy, Entomologist, University of Delaware, and best-selling author
Topic: Wildlife, biodiversity and practical steps to help restore native flora and fauna.

2:30 pm  The Future of Outdoor Recreation
Dave Chanda, President and CEO, Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation
Bill Dunn, Vice President for Marketing, National Shooting Sports Foundation
Topic: the evolving characteristics of anglers and shooting sports enthusiasts and steps for engaging participants.

FRIDAY, July 28, 2023 
Cornhusker Marriott, Lincoln, Neb. (Lancaster 4, 5 & 6)

9:15 – 9:45 am  The Green Crew – A Model for Youth Leadership and Impact
Joe Barisonzi and Youth Green Crew Leaders from the Minnesota Valley Chapter
Topic: Young people are leading conservation on the ground through the Green Crew model. 

11:00 – 11:30 am  Art and Conservation Join Rivers and Awareness
Avon Waters, painter
Topic: A unique art project captured Indiana’s waterways on canvas and spreads word about threats to clean water.    

11:30 am – 12:15 pm  Clean Water at a Crossroads: Panel 
Samantha Briggs, Director, Clean Water Program, Izaak Walton League
Nicole Horvath, Environmental Outreach Coordinator, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission 
Ted Corrigan, CEO and General Manager, Des Moines Water Works
Heather Wilson, Save Our Streams Coordinator, Izaak Walton League
Abby Hileman, Salt Watch Coordinator, Izaak Walton League 
Topic: Threats to clean water persist 50 years after the Clean Water Act. Panel discusses challenges and how volunteer science can help reduce pollution and empower a new generation of clean water advocates.
12:30 pm  Conservation in America: Andrew McKean, Outdoor Life Conservation Editor 
Topic: Andrew McKean will share insights about the future of conservation, successes and failures of the past.

Workshops Friday, 2:15 pm and repeated at 3:30 pm

How to Start a Salt Watch Campaign in Your Community (Hawthorne)   
This workshop will give you the building blocks to start or engage in a road salt pollution reduction campaign in your community, from monitoring pollution levels and working with partners to policy advocacy.

Starting a Green Crew at Your Chapter  (Arbor 2)        
Green Crew youth leaders will share practical strategies for implementing science-based conservation projects and engaging partners such as schools, universities and scout units. Gain insights from a successful chapter model and leave with an actionable plan to create a dynamic and impactful youth initiative at your chapter.

Using the Clean Water Hub to Facilitate Local Change (Garrat) 
League staff will demonstrate how to leverage the Clean Water Hub website to highlight water quality information in your community using maps, graphics and other readily understandable visual resources. 

SATURDAY, July 29, 2023
(Lancaster 4, 5 & 6)

9:00 am   Youth Convention Presentation 

9:30 am  Endowment Annual Meeting, Patty Nunn, President

1:30 pm  Resolutions Committee report, Dale Braun, Chair         
Vote on resolutions
Unfinished business, Other business

National Youth Convention, July 27-29, 2023

On each of the three days, participants will board a tour bus at the Cornhusker and travel to several attractions located throughout central Nebraska.

Thursday, July 27 – The day begins with a guided tour of the Nebraska State Capitol followed next by time spent at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo that is home of 40 endangered species.

Friday, July 28 – Travel to Ashland to visit the Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park and Wildlife Safari, then to the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum for a look at history of flight.

Saturday, July 29 – At the Schramm Education Center, the youth will learn about Nebraska’s aquatic habitats and terrestrial ecosystems. The schedule also includes recreation at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Eugene T. Mahoney State Park.

Speaker Bios

Dr. Doug Tallamy, Entomologist, University of Delaware
Doug Tallamy is one of the most prominent advocates for harnessing the power of small-scale conservation to help slow the decline of and restore once-common wildlife. He is the author of several best-selling books, including Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard.  

Dave Chanda, President and CEO, Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF)
RBFF is the only national nonprofit organization with the specific mission of increasing participation in recreational angling and boating and improving public understanding of aquatic resource conservation. Before joining RBFF, Dave Chanda had a 37-year career with the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, 11 years as director. He also served as president of  the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies.

Bill Dunn, Vice President for Marketing, National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF)
NSSF is the trade association for the firearms industry representing thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges and sportsmen’s organizations nationwide. With NSSF since 2005, Bill Dunn oversees the association's creative services, web development, digital and social media, content/video production, and safety education programs. He is a former daily newspaper editor and reporter and a graduate of Fairfield University.

Samantha Briggs, Director, Clean Water Program, Izaak Walton League of America
Samantha (Sam) Briggs has been with the League for over seven years. She has an M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins University and has a passion for connecting individuals with the environment and water quality monitoring within their communities.

Nicole Horvath, Environmental Outreach Coordinator, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC Water)
Nicole Horvath currently serves as the lead of the Salt Summit Outreach Working Group. WSSC Water provides safe drinking water to over 1.8 million people in Prince Georges and Montgomery counties in Maryland, and road salt pollution is an increasing concern in the region.

Ted Corrigan, CEO and General Manager, Des Moines Water Works (DMWW)
The Des Moines Water Works provides drinking water for about 600,000 people living in Des Moines and other communities in central Iowa. Ted Corrigan has worked for the DMWW for more than 30 years, with leadership roles in engineering, water production and water distribution before becoming CEO. He is a Civil Engineering graduate from Iowa State University and a Licensed Professional Engineer.

Abby Hileman, Salt Watch Coordinator, Izaak Walton League of America
Abby Hileman has been with the League since August 2022 leading Salt Watch, expanding the program into new regions, reaching new groups of volunteers and providing resources to make lasting change. She received her B.S. in Biology from Allegheny College and believes small scale actions add up to make a big impact on conservation success.

Heather Wilson, Midwest Save Our Streams Coordinator, Izaak Walton League of America
Heather Wilson trains Save Our Streams volunteers and trainers across the Midwest and manages the Nitrate Watch program. Heather received her M.S. in Environmental Education from Southern Oregon University and her B.S. in Biology from Iowa State University.

Andrew McKean, Conservation Editor, Outdoor Life Magazine
Andrew McKean is an independent journalist covering the outdoors, wildlife conservation, and natural resources policy beats. He lives on a ranch outside Glasgow, Montana, where he contributes feature articles and reporting to a number of national publications. 
Izaak Walton League of America Mission

To conserve, restore, and promote the sustainable use and enjoyment of our natural resources, including soil, air, woods, waters, and wildlife.

Media contact: Michael Reinemer,, 301-548-0150 ext 220; Cell 703-966-9574

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