The HOW Coalition’s annual Great Lakes Conference attracts more than 300 people from across the region to discuss cross-cutting and cutting edge Great Lakes issues. This year’s conference will be held at the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel in Detroit, Michigan, October 17-18, 2018.

The Coalition is looking for engaging and compelling proposals for both field trips and presentations at this year’s conference.

download the 2018 call for applications

download the 2018 field trip application

download the 2018 workshop application

  1. Field Trips: The Huron-Erie Corridor, including Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River, Western Lake Erie, and their tributaries


The Coalition is seeking fun, educational, inspiring and creative proposals for field trips in southeast Michigan to highlight restoration success stories, community projects, environmental challenges, and cultural landmarks.


  1. Workshops: Six Great Lakes Issue Areas


New this year! Multiple workshop formats. Apply for either:

  • 15 minute talk: A concise and compelling talk on one subject. Max one speaker, no powerpoint slides.
  • 60 minute workshop: Be creative with session format – host a presentation, workshop, training, input session, etc! Up to 3 speakers and one (optional) moderator.



The Coalition is seeking innovative, creative, engaging and compelling proposals for presentations in the below categories. Preferred applications in all categories will include diverse voices, particularly from underserved communities, communities of color, environmental justice groups, business groups, agricultural producers, anglers/hunters, and Tribes/First Nations. Expanded issue area descriptions are included in the full Request for Proposals (attached).


A) National/Tribal/Regional/State/Local Great Lakes Policy Issues

Examine cutting edge policy issues that impact people and the lakes. Presentation topics might include water policy, environmental justice, urban restoration, climate change, water infrastructure, invasive species and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

B) Innovative Great Lakes Restoration Success Stories

Share unique and successful restoration projects that showcase innovation and creativity. This category can also include projects that delve in to the economic benefit of restoration projects.

C) Addressing Environmental Injustices

Discuss environmental justice challenges and successes in your community. Topics may include public health, urban and rural environmental justice issues, drinking water accessibility and affordability, and climate change, among others.

D) Grassroots Action that makes a Difference

Share innovative and compelling stories and strategies used to help win local, state, regional or national Great Lakes victories.

E) Great Lakes Research and Emerging Issues

Explore cutting edge research on existing or emerging threats to the Great Lakes—and what solutions are needed.

F) Skills, Training, and Organizational Development

Provide important skills needed for advancing Great Lakes restoration and protection. Workshops in this category should provide technical assistance or capacity building to attendees.