We are postponing the Great Lakes conference. It will not take place in Detroit next week on Oct. 17-18. As mentioned in an earlier update, the hotel workers are on strike and the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition has decided not to host the conference next week. We are re-scheduling it for some time in the spring of 2019.

Here’s what you have to do:


  1. Cancel your hotel room now. To get a full refund of your room, you need to cancel your reservation with the Westin Book Cadillac 48 hours prior to your planned arrival. For many people, that means by Monday, October 15. You are responsible for cancelling your room. Call the hotel directly at (313) 442-1600. Let us know you cancelled your room by adding your name to this list.
  2. Keep your conference registration. The good news is, we are going to do a conference in Detroit in the spring! As soon as we have the dates for the new conference, we will let you know and confirm if you are still able to attend. For those who are unable to come to the new conference, we will provide refunds. For those who were not already registered for the October Conference, registration will reopen and new folks can register. We will send out that information in the next few weeks.
  3. Contact your airlines. Refund policies vary, we encourage you to reach out to your airline as soon as possible to try to get a refund.
  4. Attend the Great Lakes Funder collaborative reception (if you’re in Detroit Tuesday night). If registered for the joint reception with the Great Lakes Funder Collaborative at the Gem Theater in Detroit, that event is still happening. The event is on Tuesday, October 16th, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. and required prior registration. Please note: The Coalition will NOT be providing transportation between the event and the Westin Book Cadillac hotel. If you are unable to attend this event, please contact Diane Schrauth diane@schrauthconsulting.com.
  5. Tell your colleagues about the change. We want to ensure that every conference attendee knows about this news and makes the necessary arrangements. If there are friends, co-workers, or colleagues who you know are attending, please help spread the word.
  6. If you are a speaker at the conference – the organizer of your session will be receiving a message as well very soon, please check in with them first if you have questions regarding your conference presentation, workshop, or session.
  7. Check the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition website for more information. We’ll be posting a Frequently Asked Questions document and provide updates as needed. Visit: healthylakes.org

What we’re doing:


  1. Coalition staff are working to let our attendees, vendors, funders, and partners know through a variety of communications vehicles.
  2. Coalition staff will work to email and text every attendee who we know has booked a room to make sure that they cancel in time to get a full refund. Want to save us time? Let us know you cancelled your room by adding your name to this list.
  3. Coalition staff are providing updates via email and the website as soon as we have them.
  4. Coalition staff are answering questions to help make this transition as easy as possible.


Still have questions? Here’s who to contact for information:



A note about why we’re postponing the conference:


We’d like to let you know that we did not make the decision to postpone the conference lightly. We worked vigorously to find alternate locations and there were none available that were suitable for a conference of our size. The conference is our marquee annual event. We want to host a wonderful conference. At the same time, we want to respect the dignity of workers asking for a living wage and not put our attendees in a situation where they have to decide whether to cross a picket line. We believe it’s important to support the hotel workers because water affordability is an increasingly important issue for the Coalition—a policy that goes hand-in-hand with supporting a livable wage for workers.


Thanks for your patience and understanding.


The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition Team