GC2014Newsletter_header_smallBy Rebecca Kauten – The Great Lakes and Great Rivers Chapters of IECA represent nine American states (IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MO, NE, OH, WI) and one Canadian province (ON). The region is characterized by old industry, overstressed underground stormwater systems, strong wetlands and conservation policies, agricultural runoff challenges, wind-induced soil erosion, and riverside urban redevelopment.
NOTE: A version of this article was published in the November/December 2013 issue of Land and Water (PDF)
More than 700 registered CPESC holders reside here. Another 400+ are in the immediately bordering zones. The region is also strong in registered CISEC professionals. Perhaps most telling of how deeply connected this shared region is to forward-looking stormwater management response is the fact that nearly half of all the new CMS4S certification holders are based here.
This water-quality focused region will now play host to a dynamic, new workshop and conference: Great Connections 2014.

Radisson, Davenport, Great Connections 2014
The Radisson Quad City Plaza will serve as the main venue. Located just off the river, it provides an appropriate site to further discussions on the challenges of stormwater management. Here, old infrastructure, annual flood risks, urban runoff, and modern development converge.

From April 29 to May 1, the Radisson Quad City Plaza in Davenport, Iowa will be the scene of high-quality short courses, keynote lectures, breakout sessions, local tours, and much more. Great Connections 2014, which is jointly being organized by the Great Lakes and Great Rivers Chapters of the International Erosion Control Association, will address environmental compliance, active and post-construction stormwater management issues, and locally-driven policy and education initiatives.
It will also provide an exceptional opportunity for the region’s many certified or certification-seeking professionals to earn their credentials.
The Great Connections 2014 Organizing Committee, like the event itself, represents a strong range of public and private work and affiliated disciplines:

  • Co-Chair: Jonathon Koepke (Great Lakes Chapters; ENCAP,  Inc.)
  • Co-Chair: JB Dixon (Great Rivers Chapter; Felsburg Holt & Ullevig)
  • Secretary: Rebecca Kauten (University of Northern Iowa)
  • Exhibits Chair: Don Thieman (ASP Enterprises)
  • Education Chair: Brian Stineman (City of Davenport, Iowa)
  • Field Tour Chair: Amy Foster ( City of Coralville, Iowa)
  • Program Manager: Kim Kline, Minerva TRI

The program for the event is being finalized. Details should be available shortly at the event website: www.GreatConnections2014.com.


Pre-registration for exhibitors and sponsors opened in early November.  Great Connections 2014 offers a number of sponsorship opportunities, but the exhibit space is being limited. As pre-registration opened, some platinum, gold and regular exhibitor slots were already snapped up and sponsorship for some of the networking was reserved.
Visit www.greatconnections2014.com to view the latest availability.
The near-travel presence of so many strong soil and water conservation districts and various federal and state-level environmental policy and engineering-related offices will enhance the public and private sector mix at Great Connections 2014.
The same was witnessed in August 2013 in Saint Paul, Minnesota when the International Low Impact Development Symposium was held there. That event—which hosted an organizing committee meeting for Great Connections 2014—had more than 800 attendees, despite the fact that it was held at the same time as the long-running StormCon conference.
It is a testament to just how active (and how many) the professionals in the Great Connections region are.
Further, the Quad Cities location, with multiple interstate access points, puts the event in drive-in reach of major metropolitan areas from Chicago, Des Moines, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Omaha, Peoria, St. Louis and many others. It is also a city in easy reach for the many smaller urban and rural districts that provide exceptional influence and knowledge into watershed management, environmental compliance, and community engagement.
The organizers of Great Connections 2014 welcome your inquiries and look forward to learning from and sharing insight with you April 29 – May 1. Visit www.greatconnections2014.com or contact:

See you in Davenport!
Rebecca KautenRebecca Kauten is the Program Manager for Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management (IRVM) at University of Northern Iowa. Her work centers around extensive, field-based urban stormwater management projects; assessing and measuring performance; and engaging with local stakeholders’ intent on watersheds and localized water quality improvement.
She can be reached at rebecca.kauten@uni.edu.
NOTE: A version of this article was published in the November/December 2013 issue of Land & Water magazine.