Conference Schedule



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.

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


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 Speaker

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



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 Tour #1 - Rock Island Rain Garden Program and Rock Island Drainage Assistance Program (RIDAP); Carbon Cliff Permeable Streets Project

    Permeable pavers, funding strategies, planned expansion; design, planning and funding of urban rain gardens

  • Rural Tour #2 - Copperas Creek Watershed Restoration Project
  • See streambank stabilization, grassed waterways, dry dams

  • Rural Tour #3 - Green Island Nutrient Management Research Project
  • Floodplain-river connectivity: sediment, nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon removal by flooding on the Maquoketa River floodplain

  • Option #4 - In-house Workshop - US Geological Service; Iowa Flood Center
  • Stream Gages, Flow Monitoring


    4-6:30 p.m. | Student Summit


    5:30-6:45 p.m. | Student Poster Session


    5:30 p.m. | Cash Bar Open


    7 p.m. | Catfish Dinner and Entertainment

  • Brian "Fox" Ellis - Riverlorian and Storyteller
  • :: 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
  • 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 Mickelsen, 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


    2:30-3 p.m. | Networking Break

    3-5 p.m. | Quad City Flood Resiliency Alliance Workshop

    Inspired by the successful example 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, a key figure along with Illinois State Senator Sue Rezin in the development and success of the Illinois Valley Flood Resiliency Alliance in central Illinois. This alliance 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.