Healthy Lakes Healthy Lives


November 13th 2018

Action Alert: Contact House Members to Support Great Lakes Restoration Funding

Reps. Sander Levin (D-Mich.) and David Joyce (R-Ohio) are circulating this letter to the Office of Management and Budget in support of one of the coalition’s top priorities: $300 Million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in Fiscal Year 2020. The letter outlines the impressive successes of the program while pointing out that the Great Lakes are still vulnerable and there is still much work to be done. Please take a moment this week to call your Representative and urge them to join this important letter! The deadline for Representatives to sign on is this Friday, November 16.

You may contact your Member of Congress via the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

Besides Reps. David Joyce and Sander Levin, currently signed on members include Reps.: Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Dan Lipinkski (D-Ill.), Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), Sean Duffy (R-Wis.), Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), Dan Kildee (D-Mich.), Jack Bergman (R-Mich.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), and Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.),


More >

No comment
October 24th 2018

Coalition Seeks Qualifications From Groups For State Leader Work

Todd Ambs, Coalition Director, rallies Great Lakes advocates on a cold, windy day in Washington, D.C. Since 2010, the Coalition has secured $2.4 billion in funding for Great Lakes restoration. Photo credit: HOW Coalition.

The Healing Our Waters – Great Lakes Coalition carries out a significant portion of our work through lead organizations in several Great Lakes States. The state leads play an integral role in connecting the larger coalition to the federal, state, and local level in order to address federal Great Lakes issues across the Great Lakes region. Leads provide important direction and coordination for flagship coalition activities, including the annual fly in day, conferences, member meetings, and other coalition activities. The leads play a significant role in increasing the strength of the coalition by focusing on member engagement and recruiting new members. They also lead the coalition’s on-the-ground policy and advocacy campaigns in their state and work to garner media relationships and attention in the region.


The coalition has for years worked with lead groups in several Great Lakes states to advance our goals and priorities. This year we are conducting a new competitive process to select state lead organizations for the next three years (2019-2021). The Request for Qualifications (download here) outlines the type of organizations we are looking for, the type of work we are hoping to carry out, and the approximate budgets for each state. We plan to select one to two organizations in seven Great Lakes states to carry out varying levels of work to lead coalition activities in each state. State leads will be selected for three-year terms to align with our three-year strategic plan. Funding levels are outlined in the RFQ and are subject to overall coalition funding.

  More >

Comments Off on Coalition Seeks Qualifications From Groups For State Leader Work
October 15th 2018

Coalition Postpones Great Lakes Restoration Conference Due to Strike

Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition: ‘Every person deserves the right to clean, reliable, and affordable water—and that goes hand-in-hand with supporting a livable wage for workers.’

More >

Comments Off on Coalition Postpones Great Lakes Restoration Conference Due to Strike
October 12th 2018

CONFERENCE ATTENDEES PLEASE READ: Conference Postponed—Action Required

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
  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:

What we’re doing:

  More >

Comments Off on CONFERENCE ATTENDEES PLEASE READ: Conference Postponed—Action Required
October 11th 2018


For those of you attending the Great Lakes Conference in Detroit, Michigan next week:


As you may have heard, there is a national strike underway by hotel workers, including those at the Westin Book Cadillac—where we are hosting the Great Lakes Conference Oct. 17-18.

Please see below for an update of the situation; what we’re doing about it; and what it means for the conference moving forward.


The situation: 
Hotel workers are currently on strike. Negotiations are underway. We don’t know how long it will last. Based on the best information we have, we are assuming that it will last for the foreseeable future. 


What we’re doing about it:
Our goals are to host a wonderful conference, 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 are working diligently on options to move the conference. Supporting the workers is important because the Coalition and its members support water affordability—a policy that goes hand-in-hand with the need for people to have the dignity of a livable wage.


When you can expect more information:
We will make a final decision about the conference venue, accommodations, and any needed changes by tomorrow, Friday, at 5 p.m. Eastern. At that time, we will be in contact with every conference attendee, sponsor, vendor and funder to let them know what we are doing.


What you have to do now:
Nothing. We will be assessing options over the next 24 hours and let you know the outcome Friday. If you want to connect with Coalition staff in the meantime, please contact Celia Haven at


We will be in touch soon. Thanks for your patience and understanding.


Thank you,
The Healing Our Waters – Great Lakes Coalition Team

  • 2018 Great Lakes Conference

    We are postponing the Great Lakes conference. It will not take place in Detroit next week on Oct. 17-18. The hotel workers are on strike and the Coalition has decided not to host the conference next week. We are re-scheduling it for some time in the spring of 2019. Learn more here.

  • Impact of President Trump’s Budget

    Cuts to key Great Lakes programs as proposed by President Trump will undermine the progress we've been making to restore the lakes. We will look to our congressional champions to restore funding. Learn more about what's at stake for the Great Lakes under the proposed budget. Click here.  

  • Washington Update: March 19, 2018

    Congress is still working on passing a budget for fiscal year 2018. But the budget process for fiscal year 2019 has now begun with the release of President Trump's proposed budget. Read the latest here.

  • Our Latest Success Story

    Check out our latest success story: Restoring the natural curves and riverbank of the Pike River in Wisconsin has reduced flooding and erosion, while increasing fish and wildlife habitat. Read more here. Click here for a full list of our success stories.