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Itasca Waters to kick off Practical Water Wisdom Series Feb. 2

The Itasca Waters Advisory Board will kick off its online Practical Water Wisdom Series at noon on Thursday, Feb. 2.

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GRAND RAPIDS — The Itasca Waters Advisory Board will kick off its online Practical Water Wisdom Series at noon on Thursday, Feb. 2.

The Practical Water Wisdom series is the brainchild of Itasca Waters, a nonprofit organization located in Itasca County whose mission is to team up with other organizations and concerned citizens to maintain abundant, clean water for continued health, enjoyment and a strong economy, a release said.

Continuing at noon on the first Thursday of each month, the free, online series will touch on topics about keeping water drinkable, swimmable and safe. The webinars are open to all and include an interactive Q&A session.

"Attendees will take away tips and strategies for maintaining the wonderful water resources we have in Minnesota," the release said. "Every action we take can add up to a big win for clean water."

The first program to kick off the 2023 season will be "Loons and Eagles — Can They Coexist?" presented by world-renowned loon expert James Paruk.

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Common loons swim underwater to catch fish, propelling themselves with their feet. According to All About Birds, they swallow most of their prey underwater. The loon has sharp, rearward-pointing projections on the roof of its mouth and tongue that help it keep a firm hold on slippery fish.
(Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer)

Paruk will talk about loons and their interactions with eagles. There is some evidence that the resurgence of eagles is having a negative effect on loon populations and reproduction. He will share his 30 years of adventures with loons, summarizing their basic biology and behavior, the release said.

Several attendees will be able to receive an autographed copy of his new book, "Loon Lessons," but must be present to win.

For the remaining monthly topics, attendees will learn about wake boats and horsepower impacts on lakes, improving fish habitat with woody debris, decreasing personal water footprint, invasive cattails, deadly water microbes and diseases, well water safety, impacts of water softener salt, the importance of changes in both ice formation and ice-out in lakes and a Halloween special program about monsters and fairies in lakes.

In addition to the monthly series, an online aquatic invasive species detector training program will be offered and includes home study and a two-day online course.

To register, visit www.itascawaters.org/water-wisdom-2023. For more information, contact info@itascawaters.org.

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