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Great Lakes


This year our Great Lakes Conference will be held in Detroit, Mich. Our new dates are May 8-9, 2019 in Detroit, Mich. Registration is now closed and we look forward to seeing folks in Detroit! The planned agenda can be found by scrolling further down this page. If you have additional questions, please check out our frequently asked questions page. Registered attendees for the postponed October conference will be automatically registered for the new dates in May, but we ask that you check that your registration information is correct.


LAKE SUPERIOR LEVEL – $25,000 or more

LAKE MICHIGAN LEVEL – $10,000 to $24,999

LAKE HURON LEVEL – $5,000 to $9,999

LAKE ONTARIO LEVEL – $2,500 to $4,999

LAKE ERIE LEVEL – $1,000 to $2,499

DETROIT RIVER LEVEL – $500 to $999

BELLE ISLE LEVEL – $300 to $499

Dave Ullrich

*schedule subject to change*

7:00 a.m. – Registration opens, Breakfast

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. – Opening Plenary – Welcome to Detroit and Overview of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition
Mike Shriberg, Great Lakes Regional Executive Director, National Wildlife Federation @mshriberg
Nia Winston, President, UNITEHERE! Local 24 @local24nia
Khalil Ligon, Senior Planner, City of Detroit Planning and Development Department @CityofDetroit
Donna Givens, President and CEO, Eastside Community Network @ECNDetroit
Joel Howrani Heeres, Director of Sustainability, City of Detroit @CityofDetroit
Tawana “Honeycomb” Petty, Author and Poet, Water and Digital Justice Advocate @CombsthePoet

10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. – Breakout Sessions

From Rust to Blue Economy: Inland Seas of Opportunities and Challenges
Boulevard A
As the region rebrands itself from the Rust Belt to the Water Belt, how will it attract new businesses without compromising the health of the water, which is the very asset that attracts businesses in the first place? Join policy and business leaders from the region to discuss this emerging tension in the Great Lakes basin.

Moderator: Andy Hoffman, Ross School of Business; School for Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan @HoffmanAndy @UMich
Joel Brammeier, President and CEO, Alliance for the Great Lakes @JoelBrammeier @A4GL
Kathryn Buckner, Executive Director, Americana Foundation
Tom Cantania, retired Vice President of Government Relations at Whirlpool Corporation


Legal and Legislative Status for Water Affordability
Founders A
This session will address the hurdles and the opportunities related to legal and legislation on water affordability.

Oday Salim, Staff Attorney, National Wildlife Federation and Director, University of Michigan Law School Environmental Law & Sustainability Clinic @OdaySalim
Thomas Stevens, Legislative Policy Division, City of Detroit @CityofDetroit 
Mark Fancher, Staff Attorney, American Civil Liberties Union @ACLU


GLRI Large Scale Restoration of Detroit River’s South Islands
Founders B
Over the past two centuries, the Detroit River has experienced degradation of fish and wildlife habitat. With implementation of the lower Detroit River Island Habitat Restoration Projects, significant strides are underway to restore important coastal habitat. This workshop presents the river’s historical degradation, project development, adaptive solutions, and community engagement.

Moderator: Sam Lovall, Project Manager, Friends of Detroit River
Robert Burns, Technical Director, Friends of Detroit River
John O’Meara, Principal Engineer, Environmental Consulting & Technology, Inc. @ECTINC
Emily McKinnon, Principal/Director of Operations, SmithGroup @SmithGroup


Beyond the Buzzwords and Jargon — Understanding the Lexicon of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice
How do you define equity? What does it mean to be inclusive? We come to this work from different perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds. As stakeholders and decision-makers explore and address diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice issues, it is helpful to have a deeper understanding of the vocabulary to know that the work goes beyond jargon and buzzwords. This workshop will help unlock the language and terminology in the lexicon of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.

Carla Walker, President, think BIG strategies, LLC @globalsistah


Protecting the Great Lakes and Public Health from Toxic Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
Advocates from Michigan and Wisconsin bring a compelling story of Great Lakes protection and restoration in the form of their successful local policy-making efforts targeting toxic PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) from certain pavement sealant products entering Great Lakes waters with urban stormwater runoff.

Rebecca Esselman, Watershed Planner, Huron River Watershed Council @NaturelsWater
Ezra Meyer, Water Resources Specialist, Clean Wisconsin @CleanWisconsin
Sam Noffke, Senior Aquatic Biologist, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy @MichiganEGLE

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Lunch Welcome

Gildo Tori, Director of Public Policy, Great Lakes/Atlantic Region, Ducks Unlimited and Co-chair, Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, @GildoTori_DU

12:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Lunch Plenary – Great Lakes Restoration and Protection: the View from Inside Government

Mike Shriberg, Great Lakes Regional Executive Director, National Wildlife Federation, @mshriberg
Chris Korleski, Director, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Great Lakes National Program Office, @EPAGreatLakes
Kara Cook, Environment and Energy Policy Advisor for Michigan Governor, State of Michigan
Dan Eichinger, Director, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, @MichiganDNR

1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. – Breakout Sessions

Reaching beyond the choir: How to influence behavior
Boulevard A
Changing behavior is hard. Unfortunately it is not as simple as relaying data and facts. The good news is that there are simple tactics you can use to reach beyond innovators and “the choir.” This workshop will present strategies based on real-world examples and how to relate them to your work.

Jessica Espenshade, Agriculture Program Coordinator, National Wildlife Federation @NWF
Elizabeth Lillard, Agriculture Program Specialist, National Wildlife Federation @NWF


Great Lakes Business Network: Line Five and Beyond
Founders A
Learn more about the Great Lakes Business Network and the work that’s been done around Enbridge’s Line 5—the oil pipeline that crosses the Straits of Mackinac.

Moderator: Mike Shriberg, Great Lakes Regional Executive Director, National Wildlife Federation @mshriberg
Jim Lively, Program Director, Groundwork Center @grndwk
Carrie Veldman, Sustainability and Philanthropy Manager, Barfly Ventures


The Great Lakes Clean Water Infrastructure Promise
Founders B
Clean water infrastructure is a core governmental service vital to health and economies. Despite the abundance of Great Lakes fresh water, states throughout the basin struggle to maintain their water infrastructure while keeping costs in check. Leaders from nonprofits talk about how states are delivering on the clean water promise.

Steve Morse, Executive Director, Minnesota Environmental Partnership @MEPartnership
Katie Rousseau, Director, Clean Water Supply, Great Lakes, American Rivers @AmericanRivers


Demonstrating Green Stormwater Infrastructure with Art, Science, and Community Values
Detroit’s Museum of African American History and Science Center are building a green stormwater infrastructure demonstration site that integrates science education, African American culture, and stormwater management. In this panel, we will explore how this single practice is creating triple bottom line benefits for many stakeholders, from grassroots organizations to the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.

Moderator: Sigal Hemy, Program Officer, Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation
Kwamena Mensah, Detroit Independent Freedom Schools Movement
Leslie Tom, Chief Sustainability Officer, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History @TheWrightMuseum
Chandra Lewis, Communications Consultant, Detroit Water and Sewerage Department @DetroitWaterDep


A watershed approach in the Lower Fox River
What would a point source be doing working with a farmer? If you find answering that question difficult or interesting, then come explore the watershed approaches that are part of Wisconsin law. Warning! You will use our tools and some role-play so this could be fun!

Jeff Smudde, Director of Environmental Programs, Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District
Todd Brennan, Senior Policy Manager, Alliance for the Great Lakes @A4GL
Martin Brown, Policy Research and Analysis Specialist, Delta Institute @DeltaGreatLakes

2:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. – Field Trips (offsite)

Shuttle buses will pick up and drop off attendees at the Michigan Avenue entrance of the hotel, near valet pickup.

Belle Isle Habitat Restoration Projects – FULL
Price: $10.00
Hosted by Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Learn about habitat enhancements at the 125-year-old Belle Isle Park: reconnection of 65 acres of lake habitat to the Detroit River, 5 acres of Detroit River spawning reef targeted for 17+ fish species, 5 acres of new fish nursery in the nearshore, and restoration of the globally-significant 200-acre flatwoods forest. Participants should wear hiking shoes and dress for the weather. The hike will avoid wet parts of the island and stick to existing paths and trails.


Collaborative Community Open Space and Green Infrastructure on Detroit’s Eastside
Price: $10.00
Hosted by Eastside Community Network
Eastside Community Network is committed to working with communities to alleviate localized flooding and regional stormwater overflow. Through robust engagement and the use of a 3D visualization tool, residents and businesses have played active roles in the development of stormwater management applications/designs for the open spaces around them.


Roll in Detroit: A Bike Tour of the River, Murals, & the Nation’s Oldest Public Market – FULL
Price: $10.00
Hosted by Eastern Market Corporation
Put your best wheel forward and enjoy a bike ride of Detroit. Ride along the Riverwalk to see the Detroit River, one of the fastest moving bodies of water in the country that empties the water from the upper Great Lakes to the lower Lakes. From rail to trail, explore the two-mile greenway that connects the Riverwalk to Eastern Market, the nation’s oldest and largest public market. At the market, learn about planning efforts for a centralized stormwater management system and see dozens of murals that grace the area’s buildings. Participants should expect a 15 minute walk to/from the start/finish of the tour. The tour will include a 2 mile bike ride and walking.


The Detroit Riverfront – Transformation of an industrial waterfront into a globally-recognized public waterfront destination
Price: $10.00
Hosted by Smith Group
Covering 4 miles of the Detroit Riverfront, we will explore the transformation of a once industrial working riverfront, now a public amenity that boasts play spaces for children; interpretive and educational elements depicting how urban stormwater is treated; and the creation of urban habitat and wetland systems. Attendees should expect a 15 minute walk to/from the start/finish of the tour and a 4 mile walk along the riverfront.


The Unaffordable Water Tour
Price: $10.00
Hosted by We the People of Detroit
On the Unaffordable Water Tour, we invite you to participate in a ‘bucket brigade’ to stock and distribute water with grassroots organizers. We’ll visit the community water relief station at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and hear from activists with We the People of Detroit and Flint Rising about the landscape of rising, inequitable water rates in both cities and the consequences for families and communities. Participants will then travel to the North End (to meet at the One Mile or Oakland Avenue Urban Farm) to learn more about the social and medical consequences of unaffordable water.


Wetland, Green Infrastructure and Aquatic Molecular Science Laboratory Tour – FULL
Price: $10.00
Hosted by Health Urban Waters Program, Wayne State University
Join us to visit a variety of features relating to aquatic science, Great Lakes marsh restoration and green infrastructure at Lake St. Clair Metropark, which boasts one of the largest remaining natural coastal wetlands along the Huron-to-Erie corridor, supported by a partnership of academia, parks, government, and civil service organizations. Attendees should expect lengthy walking on uneven trails that could be muddy.


City of Flint: Recovery Progress
Price: $10.00
Hosted by the Flint Development Center
The Flint Water Crisis revealed drinking water problems, breakdowns in government systems, and systemic racism that are present in many Great Lakes urban centers. This tour will provide a brief history of the crisis with a focus on highlighting recovery progress by visiting City Hall, neighborhoods, Community Center, and Flint River. Please note: This field trip leaves from the hotel at 1:30 p.m. Attendees of this field trip will not be able to attend any afternoon workshops on Wednesday.


Islands of Restoration in the Lower Detroit River – FULL
Price: $45.00
Hosted by Michigan Sea Grant
Over the past centuries the Detroit River has experienced degradation of habitat. However, significant strides to restore important coastal habitat have been made due to the islands restoration. This on-river experience will tour the completed Stony Island, work in progress at Celeron Island, and discuss the planning of Sugar Island. This is a 2 1/2 hour boat ride. There is a $45 fee associated with this field trip to help offset the cost of the boat rental. Please note: This field trip leaves from the hotel at 1:30 p.m. Attendees of this field trip will not be able to attend any afternoon workshops on Wednesday.


Kayak Tour of the Lower Rouge Industrial stretch of the Lower Rouge River Water Trail
Price: $45.00
Hosted by Friends of the Rouge
Come experience a guided tour of the Lower Rouge Industrial stretch in the Rouge River by kayak. Trip will feature information about industrial/environmental history, highlights from projects happening at Forman Park, Fort Street Bridge Park/Fordson Island and the EPA- Honeywell lower Rouge River sediment remediation project to name a few. You must have kayak experience to attend this trip. $45 fee includes kayak rental, paddle and personal flotation device. Please note: This field trip leaves from the hotel at 1:30 p.m. Attendees of this field trip will not be able to attend any afternoon workshops on Wednesday.

6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – Evening Reception at the Ford Piquette Plant

Shuttle buses will pick up and drop off attendees at the Michigan Avenue entrance of the hotel, near valet pickup. Experience local Detroit art while taking in some of the city’s history. Entertainment will be provided by members of The Gathering Orchestra, a program of the Carr Center.

*Schedule subject to change*

7:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. – Breakfast


8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. – Welcome


Joe Comartin, Counsel General, Canada, @CGJoeComartin
Lynn McClure, Senior Midwest Regional Director, National Parks Conservation Association, @NPCA

8:45 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. – Breakout Sessions

Expanding Coverage of Great Lakes Issues for General Audiences
Boulevard A
Looking for more coverage of Great Lakes issues? Need content to help engage your audiences? Public media has launched two journalism initiatives in the Great Lakes to improve coverage and reach more audiences. See some recent work, and share your opinions on what is needed with the editorial leadership of these important public initiatives.

Sandra Svoboda, Program Director, GreatLakesNow.org, Detroit Public Television @detroitpublictv
Gary Wilson, Senior Correspondent, Great Lakes Now, Detroit Public Television @detroitpublictv
Lester Graham, Environment Reporter and Stateside’s Friday Host, Michigan Public Radio @MichiganRadio


Collective Infrastructure:  Using decentralized systems and community to create more sustainable infrastructure
Founders A
What is community-scale infrastructure? Learn about innovative approaches to develop decentralized infrastructure that strengthens community ties and builds resilience.

Robert Zimmerman, President, Zimmerman Strategic Communications
Jackson Koeppel, Executive Director, Soulardarity @Soulardarity 
Rev. Joan Ross, Acting Station Manager and Director, North End Woodward Community Coalition
Nadine Marshall, Content Coordinator, Allied Media Projects @Allied_Media 


Huron Pines and the Healthy Watersheds Consortium: Connecting Land and People for Conservation Success
Founders B
Huron Pines recently received funding from the national Healthy Watersheds Consortium grant program to increase capacity for watershed protection in the Great Lakes. This workshop shares information on the Healthy Watersheds Consortium program and Huron Pines’ strategies for putting our communities in the driver’s seat for long-term natural resource protection.

Abigail Ertel, Community Program Lead, Huron Pines @HuronPines
Jeff Lerner, Senior Advisor, U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities @USEndowment


“Pools are for fun not for closing:” Addressing a history of inequity and segregation around swimming in Milwaukee
Wisconsin Sea Grant and Milwaukee Water Commons have partnered to ensure that every child and adult in Milwaukee has safe and meaningful experiences with water. To date, we have mapped swimming pool deserts in Milwaukee and employ experiential learning activities. We’ll discuss projects, challenges, and successes in reaching our goal.

Deidre Peroff, Social Science Outreach Specialist, Wisconsin Sea Grant @DeidreMKE
Brenda Coley, Co-Executive Director, Milwaukee Water Commons @MKEWaterCommons


Intersecting community engagement with social, economic and ecological revitalization of Michigan’s 14 Areas of Concern.
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy has been partnering with the University of Michigan to explore the effectiveness of local Public Advisory Councils assisting with delisting of Areas of Concern and with subsequent social, economic, and ecological revitalization within neighboring communities. Two master’s projects have been completed: one a retrospective analysis of lessons learned across the Areas of Concern; and the second focused on dynamics at the point of delisting and beyond.  In addition, a group of urban and regional planning students from the University of Michigan have been working to evaluate the institutional relationships between members of the Public Advisory Councils and existing local governments, focusing especially on local community planning systems.

Rick Hobrla, Chief of the Great Lakes Management Unit, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy @MichiganEGLE
Dr. Paul Seelbach, Professor of Practice, School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan @UMich 
Richard Norton, Professor, Urban and Regional Planning Program, University of Michigan @UMich
Allison Voglesong-Zejnati, Master’s Thesis Student, University of Michigan @AVZejnati
Collin Knauss, Master’s Project Student, University of Michigan @CollinKnauss 

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Lightning Sessions: 15 minute breakouts

Business and Technology Track: Smart Lake Erie: Healing Our Waters with Innovation and Data
Woodward A
Learn how the grassroots activation surrounding harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie inspired the “Smart Lake,” a new breed of smart and connected infrastructure that enables intelligent community water management.

Max Herzog, Program Manager, Cleveland Water Alliance @CLEH2OAlliance


Business and Technology Track: Business Sustainability in the Great Lakes Region: Forging Collaboration for Long-term Prosperity
Woodward A
Businesses operating around the Great Lakes depend on the abundant natural and human resources of the region and have a vested interest in ensuring their availability into the future. Hear the findings of a recent study on the state of corporate sustainability in the Great Lakes region, including top priority issues and ripe opportunities for solution-oriented action.

Edwin Piñero, President, The Piñero Group, @ThePineroGroup


Business and Technology: Mapping Water Access with 360° Imagery
Woodward A
Southeast Michigan Council of Governments led a recent effort to map more than 400 miles of navigable waterways in Southeast Michigan with 360 degree imagery. The resulting data documents accessibility to the water in photographic detail, allowing users to better understand the opportunities and limitations for water recreation, tourism, and place-making in Southeast Michigan.

Tyler Klifman, Planner, Southeast Michigan Council of Governments @semcog


Toxics and Invaders Track: An update on PFAS in the Great Lakes
Woodward B
PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, have been found in groundwater throughout the Great Lakes region. Join us for an update on this toxin in drinking water.

Christy McGillivray, Principal Consultant, Headwater LLC @HeadwaterLLC


Toxics and Invaders Track: The Great Lakes New Zealand Mud Snail Collaborative
Woodward B
The New Zealand mud snail is rapidly expanding its range throughout the Great Lakes Region. The impact mud snails may have on native communities are currently unknown. Learn how a regional collaborative is seeking to improve knowledge on potential impacts, minimize spread, better inform management activities, and raise public awareness.

Jeremy Geist, Great Lakes Stream Restoration Manager, Trout Unlimited @TroutUnlimited


Toxics and Invaders Track: An update on Lake Erie Harmful Algal Blooms
Woodward B
Harmful algal blooms have become an almost annual event on Lake Erie in the summer. Join us for the latest update on the blooms and what’s being done to prevent them.

Gail Hesse, Director of Water Programs, National Wildlife Federation @NWFGreatLakes


Great Lakes Innovation Track: Water’s Law—What Would It Mean for Lakes and Streams to Have Their Own Legal Rights?
Woodward C/D
Instead of suing to protect your stream, what if your stream could sue to protect itself? In the last decade there have been numerous examples of courts and legislatures conferring legal rights to natural resources. This workshop explores the possibility of doing that in the Great Lakes region.

Oday Salim, Staff Attorney, National Wildlife Federation and Director, University of Michigan Law School Environmental Law & Sustainability Clinic @OdaySalim

Great Lakes Innovation Track: The Great Lakes Dredged Material Center for Innovation at the Riverside Confined Disposal Facility in Toledo, Ohio
Woodward C/D
The first of its kind in the Great Lakes, the Dredged Material Center for Innovation in Toledo, Ohio, is a critical step toward eliminating open lake placement of dredged sediment through beneficial uses such as agricultural improvements. This workshop will provide a dynamic, visual overview of the project and lessons learned.

John Hull, Founder and Principal, Hull & Associates, Inc. @HullAssociates


The Great Lakes Innovation Track: Biomimicry for Social Innovation
Woodward C/D
Biomimicry for social innovation presents Nature as Mentor, Model and Teacher anchored on Life’s 3.8 billion years of experience. Explore how you can tap into this rich source to improve your personal and organizational skills, training opportunities and development. Your growth will benefit your work and passion for the Great Lakes!

Gloria Rivera, IHM, Coordinator, Great Lakes Bioneers Detroit @GLBioneers


11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. – Breakout Sessions

Actionable Strategies for Proactive, Inclusive Community Engagement
Boulevard A
Systems thinking, scientific method, and rapid prototyping: a new tool kit promises results in overcoming our most intractable challenges. This workshop provides capacity building support for organizations to enable them to be more targeted, effective, and successful as they engage in their mission based work.

Eve Pytel, Director, Delta Institute @egpytel @DeltaGreatLakes
Bill Schleizer, CEO, Delta Institute @Schleizer @DeltaGreatLakes


Training: Analyze Power, Build Power, Use Power
Founders A
What change do you want and who has the power to create that change? Attend this mini-training and learn about a useful tool and process that can help you achieve that change.

Art Reyes III, Executive Director, We the People – Michigan


What Is A Community To Do? Developing an Action Plan to Measure and Ensure Compliance with the Lead and Copper Rule
Founders B
Lead in drinking water can present a significant public health risk.  The Lead and Copper Rule is complex, and the relationship between compliance and health protection is confusing. This workshop will explain the rule, the risks of lead in water, and strategies to ensure water utilities comply with the rule.

Elin Betanzo, P.E. Principal, Safe Water Engineering, LLC @SafeWaterEng
Nicholas Leonard, Interim Executive Director, Great Lakes Environmental Law Center @GLELC


Great Lakes Green Infrastructure Champions: using mentoring to build capacity
The Great Lakes Green Infrastructure Champions Mentoring Network paired emerging green infrastructure champions with pioneers in green infrastructure. This workshop will discuss how the mentoring network helped communities build capacity to advance green infrastructure, featuring a mentor and a mentee, and describe opportunities for future engagement.

Margo Davis, Program Specialist, Great Lakes Commission @GLCommission
Elaine Sterrett Isely, Director of Water Programs, West Michigan Environmental Action Council @ElaineIsely @WMEAC
Michael Kuss, General Manager, Michigan City Sanitary District


The Risks of Net-Pen Aquaculture in the Great Lakes
Our Great Lakes are currently threatened by commercial net-pen fish farming facilities (aquaculture). Hear directly from experts about the adverse impacts of aquaculture, first-hand accounts of current activities in the Great Lakes, as well as legislative and administrative actions at the state and federal level in protecting the Great Lakes and inland waters from aquaculture.

Marc Smith, Director of Conservation Partnerships, National Wildlife Federation @NWFGreatLakes
Taylor Ridderbusch, Great Lakes Organizer, Trout Unlimited @TroutUnlimited
Dennis Eade, Executive Director, Michigan Steelhead and Salmon Fisherman’s Association

12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Lunch and plenary

Lunch Welcome:
Katie Rousseau, Director Clean Water Supply Great Lakes, American Rivers and Co-chair, Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition @AmericanRivers
Honorable Karen Weaver, Mayor, Flint, Michigan @KarenAboutFlint

Lunch Keynote:
Mustafa Santiago Ali @EJinAction
Ali is a nationally-recognized leader on environmental justice and climate policy. His work has been grounded in the 17 principles of the environmental justice movement. The first principle affirms the sacredness of Mother Earth, ecological unity and the interdependence of all species, and the right to be free from ecological destruction. From 1993-2017 Ali was a leader on Environmental Justice work within the United States Environmental Protection Agency, helping to found the environmental justice office in 1992 during the presidency of President George H.W. Bush.

Lunch Plenary – Affordability and Restoration: Integrally Connected
Moderator: Monica Lewis Patrick, CEO and President, We the People of Detroit @WeThePeopleDet
Alice Jennings, Partner, Edward & Jennings, P.C.
Honorable JoAnn Watson, Legislative Author, Water Affordability Plan for Detroit; Michigan Water Unity Table
Tawana “Honeycomb” Petty, Author & Poet, Water & Digital Justice Advocate @Combsthepoet
Bob Allison, Deputy Director, Michigan League of Conservation Voters @MichiganLCV
Tony Spaniola, Shareholder, Ufer, Spaniola, and Frost, P.C.

2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m – Breakout Sessions

Creation of a Great Lakes Bi-National Climate Adaptation Strategy
Boulevard A
This workshop will explore how, based on the general duty to cooperate as a customary principle of international water law, and based on their commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Canada and the United States should create a comprehensive binational strategy for climate adaptation in the Great Lakes region, with special attention to the climate impacts to Great Lakes indigenous communities.

Nick Schroeck, Associate Professor, University of Detroit Mercy Law School @NickSchroeck
Patrícia Galvão Ferreira, Assistant Professor in Transnational Law, University of Windsor @Pat_Galvao
Beverly Jacobs, Mohawk Nation of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy, Bear Clan, Assistant Professor, Windsor Law


Building a Water-Resilient Great Lakes City
Founders A
Detroit could be a leader in implementing innovative, multifunctional greenways. A coordinated effort between government and community could ensure that greenways, and other multimodal corridors, are designed to serve multiple functions and benefit surrounding neighborhoods. Come learn about our work to discover how to achieve this through integrative stormwater management.

Khalil Ligon, Senior Planner, City of Detroit Planning & Development Department @CityofDetroit
Todd Scott, Executive Director, Detroit Greenways Coalition @DetroitGreenway 
Oday Salim, Staff Attorney, National Wildlife Federation and Director, University of Michigan Law School Environmental Law & Sustainability Clinic @OdaySalim
Angela Larsen, Community Planning Director, Alliance for the Great Lakes @AG4L 


Lake Erie Coastal Wetland Restoration: Howard Marsh Case Study
Founders B
Howard Marsh Metropark – a conversion of 750 acres of farmland into coastal wetlands – opened to the public in April 2018 and provides significant regional environmental benefits returning a lost asset back to Lake Erie through reduction in phosphorous loading in runoff and creation of critical fish and wildlife habitat.

Tim Schetter, PhD, Director of Natural Resources, Metroparks Toledo @MyMetroparks
Emily McKinnon, Principal/Director of Operations, SmithGroup @SmithGroup
Denis Franklin, Natural Resources Supervisor, Metroparks Toledo @MyMetroparks


Mobilizing, Equipping, and Building Capacity in Frontline Communities to create Water Warriors and achieve Water Liberation
Conference program if your workshop is selected.  It will also summarize the accomplishments of water warriors.  This workshop is designed to showcase different water injustices by connecting the issues and impacts to build capacity, resiliency and resistance toward Water Liberation.

Kimanthi Boothe, Environmental and Climate Justice Co-chair, Northern Oakland County Branch, NAACP @CountyOakland @NAACP
Reverend Fredrick B. Moore, Vice President, Northern Oakland County, NAACP @CountyOakland @NAACP
Tattianna McNeary, Youth Advisory Council, NAACP @NAACP

Using Technology to Drive Organizing and Activist Leadership
Join the team from Michigan League of Conservation Voters in a discussion around how they’re attempting to use a blend of technology to drive “online-to-offline” organizing and grow volunteer leaders. From social media advertising and VAN-fueled patch-through calls to video text messages and 1:1 outreach, learn how Michigan LCV is trying to weld old-school and new-school field tactics together–and some of the successes and challenges along with way.

Bob Allison, Deputy Director, Michigan League of Conservation Voters @MichiganLCV
Baldomero Gonzalez, Political and Outreach Director, Michigan League of Conservation Voters @MichiganLCV
Tessa Harvey, Communications Coordinator, Michigan League of Conservation Voters @tessa_harvey

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Breakout Sessions

Restoring the Grand Rapids – Two Guys, a Dream and a Microbrew
Boulevard A
A dream that started with two kayaking buddies over a microbrew in downtown Grand Rapids asking: “But where are the rapids?” Learn how they have grown into a powerful and motivating non-profit called Grand Rapids Whitewater, dedicated to revitalizing the Grand River and putting the namesake rapids back in the Grand for everyone’s enjoyment.

Matt Chapman, Project Coordinator, Grand Rapids Whitewater @grwwproject
Wendy Ogilvie, Director of Environmental Programs, Grand Valley Metro Council
Tonya Lewandowski, Senior Engineer, Environmental Consulting & Technology, Inc. @ECTINC


Assessing the Investment: The Economic Impact of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
Founders A
Much is known about the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative’s environmental impacts, but less information is available about the program’s economic impacts. This session highlights the results of a study that answers a critically important question in the Great Lakes region: How has the federal government’s investments under Great Lakes Restoration Initiative impacted the Great Lakes economy?

Moderator: Mike Shriberg, Great Lakes Regional Executive Director, National Wildlife Federation @mshriberg
Matthew Doss, Policy Director, Great Lakes Commission @GLCommission
Mike McWilliams, Michigan Forecasting Specialist, University of Michigan @UMich
Patrick Dunn, Managing Editor, Issue Media Group @patrickdunnhere


Engaging End Users in Collaborative Research: Experiences from the Detroit and Maumee River Watersheds
Founders B
Since its inception in 2012, the University of Michigan Water Center has worked to bridge research and practice by bringing researchers and end-users together to address common challenges on the Great Lakes. This session will provide multiple perspectives on the benefits of collaborative research for the policy and research communities, reflecting on the impacts realized through work in the Detroit River and western basin of Lake Erie.

Moderator: Jennifer Read, Director, University of Michigan Water Center @GrahamInstitute
Melissa Damaschke, Program Officer, Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation
Margaret Kalcic, Assistant Professor, the Ohio State University @margaretkalcic
Gail Hesse, Great Lakes Water Program Director, National Wildlife Federation @NWFGreatLakes


Great Lakes Drinking Water Guide: An Advocacy and Outreach Resource for Watershed and Community Groups
We need to engage more deeply on drinking water issues. River Network, its partners and advisory group, have developed a layperson’s drinking water guide that includes components on treatment, safety, funding, equity, community engagement, and policy. This session will introduce the guide, explain how to use locally and seek further input.

Moderator: Paco Ollervides, Great Lakes Leadership Development Manager, River Network @RiverNetwork
Jumana Vasi, Board Member, River Network @RiverNetwork
Oday Salim, Staff Attorney, National Wildlife Federation and Director, University of Michigan Law School Environmental Law & Sustainability Clinic @OdaySalim
Katherine Baer, Director of Science and Policy, River Network @RiverNetwork