Conference Program




CLICK HERE for a PDF version of the conference brochure.

The 2018 conference will be held at Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center, Moline, Illinois. Select the REGISTRATION tab above for registration fees and hotel reservation information.

A goal of the 2016 ‘Raise the Grade’ Upper Mississippi River Conference is being addressed in the 2018 conference – "Begin a comprehensive watershed planning process for the basin, which would engage regional planners and flood plain managers in a planning process that links floodplain and watershed management to better plan infrastructure, development, and natural resource management in the region with the goal of improving connections to natural floodplains, and minimizing at-risk development." The overall 2018 conference theme, “Our Watershed – Working Together for Healthy Waters and Flood-Resilient Communities” is aimed at this goal, and will feature a workshop specifically designed to bring together interested stakeholders to form a flood resiliency alliance for the greater Quad Cities area and surrounding watersheds.

Sponsorship opportunities are available! CLICK HERE for a list of sponsorships and benefits.

CLICK HERE to register online for UMRC 2018

11th Annual Upper Mississippi River Conference Highlights:

Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018 - Keynote Speakers

Dr. Gerry Galloway, Univ. of Maryland - What Did We and the World Learn from the Great Flood of 1993?

Chad Berginnis, Executive Director, Association of State Floodplain Managers - National Flood Policy:  Where Are We Today and Where Are We Going?

Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018 - Plenary Speakers

Mike Sutfin, Building & Zoning Official, Ottawa, Illinois - Illinois Valley Flood Resiliency Alliance - Regional Flood Coalitions, a Local Level Approach


Col. Bryan Sizemore, St. Louis District Commander, USACE - Integrated Water Resources Management: A UMR Perspective



Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018 - Featured Luncheon Speaker

Mary Miss, Artist/Founder, City as a Living Laboratory - Water Works: Art and Science Collaborations



CONFERENCE PROGRAM

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 24, 2018 | Stoney Creek Conference Center, Moline, Ill.

7-8 a.m. | Registration and Continental Breakfast

8 a.m. | Welcome and Introductory Remarks

  • Kathy Wine, Executive Director, River Action
  • 8:15-9:45 a.m. | Keynote Session

  • Dr. Gerry Galloway, University of Maryland - What Did We and the World Learn from the Great Flood of 1993?
  • Chad Berginnis, Association of State Floodplain Managers - National Flood Policy:  Where Are We Today and Where Are We Going?
  • 9:45-10 a.m. | Break..............................Sponsored by EnviroNET

    10-11:30 a.m. | Morning Concurrent Sessions

    TRACK 1 - Floodplains/Flood Risk Management

    • Eileen Shader, American Rivers - Managing Floodplains for Multiple Benefits
    • Ron Davis, Illinois DNR Office of Water Resources - Mitigation Programs available along the Upper Mississippi
    • Sally McConkey, P.E., CFM, D.WRE, Illinois State Water Survey - Estimating Economic Benefits of Mitigation; Loss Avoidance Study for Ottawa, Illinois


    TRACK 2 - Water Quality/Biodiversity

    • Brad Gordon, American Rivers - Foundations for Good Floodplain Restoration in the Upper Mississippi River Basin to Improve Water Quality
    • Kris Johnson, The Nature Conservancy - Prioritizing Floodplains to Restore the Health of the Mississippi River Basin
    • Brian Ritter, Nahant Marsh - Nahant Marsh: 20+ Years of Good Urban Floodplain Restoration


    11:30 a.m. | Boxed Lunch & Networking


    12-4 p.m. | Field Project Tours or In-house Workshop

    ~ * ~ Unique opportunities to see BMP solutions in action! ~ * ~

    • Urban Storm Water Projects - Rock Island Rain Garden Program and Rock Island Drainage Assistance Program (RIDAP); Carbon Cliff Permeable Streets Project [Andy Parer, Rock Island Public Works] and Carbon Cliff Permeable Streets Project [Nick Gottwalt, Village of Carbon Cliff and Paul Osman, Illinois Office of Water Resources]See rain gardens, stabilized channels, permeable streets, green roof and more examples of successful practices to reduce the impact of urban storm water.

    • Nutrient Reduction Projects - Copperas Creek Watershed Project [Rich Stewart, Rock Island County Soil & Water Conservation District]See stream bank stabilization, dry dam, cover crops, saturated buffer, grassed waterways, bioreactor and more agricultural BMPs.

    • Nutrient Monitoring Project - Green Island Levee and Drainage District near Bellevue, Iowa [Chuck Theiling, USACE & Michael Griffin, IA DNR (ret.)]See an innovative interagency project to reduce flood damages and nutrient loss and sustain ecosystems at the confluence of the Maquoketa and Mississippi Rivers.

    • In-house Workshop - Go With the Flow [ USGS Central Midwest Water Science Center, Iowa Flood Center & USACE Water Control Section]See the inner workings of water measurement with experts. The USGS, Iowa Flood Center and USACE Water Control Section will be on hand to provide discussions and live demonstrations on measuring stream flow, river levels, and water quality monitoring including equipment and data services.


    4-6:30 p.m. | Reception and Student Poster Session


    5 p.m. | Cash Bar Open


    6:30 p.m. | Catfish Dinner and Entertainment

  • Brian "Fox" Ellis, Riverlorian and Storyteller - Singing a River's Story
  • :: Dinner entertainment sponsored by American Rivers ::


    THURSDAY, OCT. 25, 2018 | Stoney Creek Conference Center, Moline, Ill.

    7-8:15 a.m. | Registration and Continental Breakfast

    8:15-9:45 a.m. | Plenary Session

  • Mike Sutfin - Building & Zoning Official, Ottawa, Ill. - Illinois Valley Flood Resiliency Alliance - Regional Flood Coalitions, a Local Level Approach
  • Col. Bryan Sizemore, St. Louis District Commander, USACE - Integrated Water Resources Management: A UMR Perspective
  • 9:45-10 a.m. | Break.................................Sponsored by Terracon

    10-11:30 a.m. | Morning Concurrent Sessions

    TRACK 1 - Floodplains/Flood Risk Management

    • Scott Whitney, US Army Corps of Engineers - Understanding and Leading a 21st Century Regional Flood Risk Management Transformation
    • Jason Smith, US Army Corps of Engineers - Defining What Consequences are Publicly Acceptable and Aligning Floodplain Policies to Get There
    • Kirsten Wallace, Upper Mississippi River Basin Association - UMRBA’s UMRS Flood and Sediment Management Study


    TRACK 2 - Water Quality/Biodiversity

    • Quinton Phelps, West Virginia University - The Importance of Floodplain Connectivity to Mississippi River Fishes
    • Tom Gile, Minnesota Board of Water & Soil Resources - Minnesota Buffer Law Requirements, Compliance and Implementation
    • Josh Spies, The Nature Conservancy - Land of the Swamp White Oak: Floodplain Conservation in Iowa’s Most Biologically Diverse Landscape


    11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. | Luncheon and Featured Speaker

  • Mary Miss, Artist/Founder, City as a Living Laboratory - Water Works: Art and Science Collaborations
  • :: Luncheon sponsored by Ingram Barge ::
    :: Appearance of Mary Miss sponsored by Chris & Mary Rayburn ::

    1-2:30 p.m. |Afternoon Concurrent Sessions

    TRACK 1 - Floodplains/Flood Risk Management

    Panel discussion - Flooding? What Flooding? Forward Thinking Communities Learn to Live With the River, Not Fight the River - Moderated by Paul Osman, Illinois Office of Water Resources
    • Holly Wallace, Austin, Minnesota
    • Cindy Cregmiles, Jersey County, Illinois
    • Phil Risseeuw, Darlington, Wisconsin
    • Stan Polivick, Cape Girardeau, Missouri
    • David Sturch, Cedar Falls, Iowa


    TRACK 2 - Water Quality/Biodiversity

    • Amy Hansen, UMN-St. Anthony Falls Laboratory - Quantifying Nutrient Removal in Floodplains and Other Fluvial Wetlands
    • Keith Schilling, University of Iowa - How Floodplains are Supposed to Work: Water and Nutrient Processing in the Lower Cedar River Floodplain
    • Jill Kostel, The Wetlands Initiative - The Floodplain Connection: The Role of Small to Large Restored Wetlands in Improving Water Quality


    2:30-2:45 p.m. | Networking Break & Registration for Workshop

    2:45-5 p.m. | Quad Cities Flood Resiliency Alliance Workshop

    Inspired by the successful model of the Illinois Valley Flood Resiliency Alliance, River Action is initiating a similar effort for the greater Quad Cities area. Local officials, certified floodplain managers, watershed advocates and experts, US Army Corps of Engineers and other river and watershed stakeholders will be attending both the conference and the workshop.

    The workshop will include information on:

    • FEMA/NFIP Community Rating System
    • Basics of a flood resiliency alliance
    • How to join
    • Local participation
    • Flood insurance discounts
    • Creditable activities
    • Loss avoidance
    • Flood damage prevention ordinances
    • Risk communication
    • And more…

    Leading the workshop will be Mike Sutfin, Building & Zoning Official from Ottawa, Illinois, and Illinois State Senator Sue Rezin, key figures in the founding and success of the Illinois Valley Flood Resiliency Alliance in central Illinois. Illinois State Senator Neil Anderson plans to take a leading role in the development of the new Quad Cities Alliance, beginning with this workshop. The IVFRA has succeeded in making significant infrastructure, planning and development changes aimed at flood mitigation in the valley, thus decreasing the cost of flood insurance for residents and businesses by improving Federal Emergency Management Agency community ratings.

    This workshop is included in a full conference fee or Thursday-only fee for attendees of the Upper Mississippi River Conference. If not attending the conference, the workshop-only registration fee is $25.

    CLICK HERE to register online for UMRC 2018