Jim Howe, executive director of the Central and Western New York Nature Conservancy, returns to Keuka College Friday, Aug. 17, to discuss water quality in the Finger Lakes.

Part of the College’s Lecture by the Lake series, the presentation, titled “Liquid Assets,” provides an overview of one of the Finger Lakes region’s most valuable resources—its water. Free and open to the public, the lecture begins at 5 p.m. in the lower level of Lightner Library.

Howe will discuss the importance of the water in the Finger Lakes, the global scarcity of water, and local water challenges, such as blue-green algae. He will also identify the source of those challenges, including agricultural runoff, septic systems, lawn chemicals, and wastewater management, among others. Additionally, Howe will share some examples of success stories where these types of problems have been overcome.

Howe’s organization works to protect the lands and waters of central and western New York, including the Great Lakes, the Finger Lakes, the Alleghenies, and the Tug Hill Plateau. He began working at the Conservancy in 1996, directing conservation programs in central and western New York.

Before joining the organization, he was the director of conservation at the Sonoran Institute in Tucson.

He also spent several years at The Conservation Fund in Washington, D.C.

Howe has a passion for nature, as well as broad expertise in public policy and natural resources. Additionally, he serves as an advisor to other conservation groups, and is co-author of Balancing Nature and Commerce in Gateway Communities. In the book, Howe and his co-authors provide lessons in how to preserve the character and integrity of communities and landscapes without sacrificing local economic well-being.