Watershed Conference to Address an Array of Topics

Public Outreach and Assistance Division

Raven Lawson, Watershed Coordinator - (501) 682-0022

Watershed Confernce Logo
Arkansans know just how valuable water is whether they farm in the Delta or live in the state capital and enjoy whitewater rafting on the Buffalo River. That’s why ADEQ has picked “Water: Our Living Treasure” as this year’s theme for its watershed conference.

From green planning to pollution reduction, a wide range of topics will be explored at the conference in Fort Smith Oct. 11-12. A full day of pre-conference activities in and around Fort Smith is planned for Oct. 10.

The event should appeal to a broad audience from fledgling watershed groups and concerned citizen groups to state employees, county officials and planners. Presenters include those charged with protecting the state’s waterways, as well as volunteers with civic groups, experts on water issues and others familiar with the state’s myriad water issues.

The keynote speaker will be Cynthia Barnett a longtime journalist and author who’s reported on freshwater issues in the United States and abroad.

Sessions on storm water runoff, development and water quality, and how to increase public involvement and awareness are all on tap. The topics were chosen by a committee that includes representatives from across the state who are all interested in watershed protection and water conservation.

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Quick Links



  • Will be open through Oct. 1.
  • Must be received at the ADEQ office by 2 p.m. on Oct. 1
  • Only on-site registration will be available after Oct. 1.
  • Cost of conference registration will be $50
  • Cost of pre-conference workshops and field trips will be $20
  • Please see the Registration Form for more details.
  • For more information on the Pre-Conference.
  • In an effort to cut registration costs and be good environmental stewards, we’re attempting to make this conference as “Green” as possible, and will cut down on the amount of paper used in conference materials (all will be available on-line to view and print what you need), and we are requesting that participants bring their own re-useable cups for break-time beverages.


  • Scholarships this year will be determined by an application process with an essay component.
    • Preference will be given to people traveling more than 50 miles to the conference, and are Arkansas citizens involved in or wanting to become part of a watershed group, OR are students, OR are K-12 educators.
  • Scholarships will be determined beforehand and issued AT registration check-in this year.
  • Scholarships will ONLY cover the cost of one registration and up to two-nights hotel stay. There will be NO scholarship money toward travel, the cost of food, or any other expenses incurred during the conference. Depending on the number of eligible applicants, recipients may be asked to share rooms.
  • Recipients are expected to stay for the duration of the conference, and must check-in by 9:30am on Thursday morning, or the scholarship will be forfeited.
  • There are a limited number of scholarships available, and anyone not meeting the deadlines or failing to complete the application process will not be eligible.
  • Application packets and registration forms (minus payment) must be submitted by September 7. Applicants will be notified of their final status by September 19th.
  • For more information, or to apply for a scholarship, please see the Scholarship Application.

Posters / Exhibits

These will be two separate items this year. Posters are to be classified as scientific in nature or will highlight a community event, and will display such information as: research topics and data presentations or community projects or programs, and will be limited to a 3’x4’ board space. Exhibits will be informational displays with tables to be used to promote and distribute information. Please click either posters or exhibits (above) for more details.

Deadline has been extended to September 19th.


  • Posters are just that, POSTERS. These are not informational displays, and tables will not be provided.
  • Posters will be eligible for judging in two categories: Science/Technical and Community, as well as be eligible for the “People’s Choice,” Award.
  • There is a limited amount of space for posters, and all entrants must be accepted through an abstract submission. Abstracts will be accepted NO LATER THAN August 31, 2013. Poster submissions will be decided upon by September 14th.
  • Posters must be fastened to the provided display boards and must fit within the dimensions of 3’x 4’. Posters can be horizontal or vertical, and will be fastened to a board on an easel.
  • Please see the Poster Submissions document for more details concerning posters.


  • Are booths or table displays to distribute information and materials to promote organizations, agencies, environmental based campaigns, etc.; or to showcase a group’s collective efforts; or to promote future events. Items often found in these booths will be brochures, small item “giveaways,” photos, announcement cards, booklets, displays, etc. Groups who may want to consider this option are agencies, businesses, community groups, and others with “displays,” relating to the watersheds or other related natural resources of Arkansas or surrounding states.
  • The ADEQ Watershed Conference DOES NOT endorse specific products or services. Therefore exhibitors representing corporations or projects conducted by corporations should avoid the use of trade or brand names and refer to the products or services by a generic descriptor. Additionally, the display should focus on the science and or results of using a specific product or service, and should be based on particular research. If the research is more applicable to a poster presentation, please consider that option.
  • Exhibitors will be offered either an 8’ table with limited floor space, or a 6’ table and limited floor space. Please be considerate of the size of your display when selecting a table size, as each are limited.
  • Space for exhibitors is limited and will be distributed on a first-come / relevance basis.
  • Exhibits will be eligible for the “People’s Choice,” award.
  • For more information on exhibits, please see the Exhibit Submissions document.


Nominated Awards:

The ADEQ Watershed Conference will be accepting nominations for the Ginger Tatom Conservation-Professional of the year Award and the “Clean Water, Stronger Communities” Volunteer of the year Award. Nominees for both awards should be chosen because they have made a positive difference in Arkansas’s environmental quality of life. Deadline for Submissions is September 21th.

These awardees will be honored at our Award’s Luncheon at the conclusion of the conference on Friday, October 12, at 12:00pm. The award recipients will be selected based on a written nomination that will be reviewed by the awards committee. Please see the links above for more information or to nominate a deserving individual.

Judged Awards:

The ADEQ Watershed Conference will be recognizing three (3), “judged” awards, which will be determined at the conference. These awards will be for posters and exhibits featured during the Poster Session/ Conference Mixer on Thursday evening, October 11, at 7:00pm, and these recipients will be honored at our Award’s Luncheon at the conclusion of the conference on Friday, October 12, at 12:00pm.

The awards are:

“Best of Show” Poster (2)

  • One to be awarded to a participant in the Science/Technical Category, and will be chosen by previously determined criteria and judged by members of the poster judging committee.
  • One to be awarded to a participant in the Community Category, and will be chosen by previously determined criteria and judged by members of the poster judging committee.
  • For more information about submitting a poster, please see Poster Submissions.

“People’s Choice” Award

  • This award will be chosen by the audience of the mixer by a ballot nomination. Both Poster presenters and Exhibitors will be eligible for this award.
  • For more information about presenting an exhibit or informational booth, please see Exhibit Submissions.

Ginger Tatom Award

The Ginger Tatom Award is in honor of Ginger Tatom, an Arkansas Department of Health employee who was instrumental in forming and planning the former Arkansas Watershed Advisory Group. Ginger lost her battle with cancer in 2003, and this award is named in her honor to exemplify the extraordinary dedication of a professional working in the field of water conservation and resources.

To nominate an individual for this award, please see the Ginger Tatom Award Criteria.

Clean Water - Stronger Communities Award

The Clean Water- Stronger Communities Award is presented to an individual (volunteer) that has made exceptional progress in getting their community engaged in environmental awareness.

To nominate an individual for this award, please see the Volunteer Award Criteria.

Hotel and City of Ft. Smith Info

Hotel - Holiday Inn City Center
Ft. Smith Convention and Visitor’s Bureau
Janet Huckabee River Valley Nature Center
City of Ft. Smith
Ft. Smith Water
Ft. Smith Parks and Recreation

Contact Information

For more information about this year's conference, contact: