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Conference to Focus on North Shore’s Socioeconomic Changes and Land Development

April 17, 2003

State of the Coast 2003, a one-day conference dedicated to sharing insights and generating solutions to challenges along the North Shore of Lake Superior, will be held on April 28 in Two Harbors, MN. Regional and local elected officials, agency staff, resource planners, business owners, and interested individuals are encouraged to participate in discussions about the region’s rapidly changing social, economic and physical landscapes, and to explore ways to address associated issues. Continuing education credits are pending for Realtors and appraisers.

This year, the annual spring conference of the North Shore Consortium will feature presentations and panel discussions regarding census and workforce data, social issues, and land development along the North Shore. Attendees will be encouraged to contribute their perspectives throughout the day with interactive polling tools, question and answer sessions, and an audience driven discussion. Two panels representing socioeconomic and land development experts will outline the challenges they see affecting the North Shore and how these may potentially impact Minnesota’s unique coastline.

North Shore Judge Ken Sandvik and Director of Lake County Social Services Dennis Henkel will join other panelists to discuss socioeconomic changes in the morning. This morning discussion will be preceded by a review of current census data and information from the Department of Economic Security. The afternoon’s focus is on land use and development with background data provided by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and a panel discussion with some of the region’s active developers.

“We’re anticipating lively discussions,” said Marty Schultz, a North Shore Consortium participant and senior planner at the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission. “The instant feedback we’ll be able to generate with electronic polling tools and the nature of our two topics of discussion—socioeconomic issues and development—will make the day very interactive. Our hope is that people will leave with new perspectives, a better understanding of what is going on along the North Shore, and enough information to formulate a vision of what the future of the North Shore might encompass.”

This project is made possible in part by a grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources-Waters and Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program through the Coastal Zone Management Act administered through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management. Other sponsors and cooperators in the North Shore Consortium include: the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission, Lake County, Minnesota Land Trust, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program, and the North Shore Management Board.

The conference will be held at Superior Shores Resort and Conference Center. The registration fee, which includes lunch, is $15. Pre-registration is advised. You may also call (218) 529-7535 for more information and to register.

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