AUGUSTA — The Maine Water & Sustainability Conference on Tuesday at the Augusta Civic Center will focus on the future of energy, clean water and safe beaches and shellfish beds.

The annual event, founded in 1994 as the Maine Water Conference, had been renamed the Maine Water & Sustainability Conference, to reflect the addition of sustainability science research in Maine sessions.

The conference has become one of the largest environmentally related conferences in Maine, according to a news release from its organizer, the Senator George J. Mitchell Center at the University of Maine. It draws more than 350 attendees including water resource professionals, researchers, consultants, citizens, students, regulators, and planners for information sessions on Maine water and sustainability issues.

Topics are scheduled to include how climate change is affecting Maine’s freshwater and coastal water and what new tools, methods and data are available to help analyze those changes; how sustainability science can help address problems related to impaired water quality in coastal regions, where elevated levels of unhealthy bacteria can lead to closures of shellfish beds and beaches; and the future of energy in the state, including off-shore wind, the transition from reliance on oil, the role of efficiency in lowering energy needs and the potential for using Maine’s biomass and waste stream to produce energy.

The event is open to the public, with registration available at the conference, for $55, starting at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Keynote speakers are University of Maine Presidential Professor of Sustainability Science Robert Kates and Dartmouth College associate professor of engineering Mark Borsuk.

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