2016 Annual Conference

June 1 – 5, 2016 | Wilmington, NC

Photo Credit: J. Wathen

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Please contact:  [email protected]


Conference information and links


CONFERENCE LOCATIONhf_riverexterior_2_675x359_FitToBoxSmallDimension_Center
Hilton Wilmington Riverside
301 North Water Street
Wilmington, NC 28401-3934

910.763.5900 (p)

The nearest airport is Wilmington International Airport (ILM) in Wilmington, North Carolina.  Do NOT fly to Wilmington, Delaware – as that is nowhere near the conference. The Hilton Wilmington Riverside will provide free airport shuttle service for participants arriving at ILM between the hours of 5am and 11pm. To help ensure we have enough vans, participants must make shuttle reservations PRIOR TO ARRIVING.

Wilmington also is served by Greyhound.

For those driving, carpooling is encouraged. Overnight parking is available at the Hilton Wilmington Riverside for $11/day.


The Hilton Wilmington Riverside provides free airport shuttles between 5a and 11p (and between 5a and midnight on May 31 and June 1). Conference participants were asked to ‘reserve’ a seat by May 25. The information provided was intended to inform the hotel regarding peak arrival times. Even if you did not formally provide us with your information, you can meet the Hilton Shuttle outside of the baggage claim area. The Hilton Airport Shuttle will run approximately every 30 minutes during peak hours. Questions? Call the hotel directly at: 910.763.5900.



Registration Rates include 4-nights lodging (double-occupancy room), all meals (Wednesday Dinner – Sunday Breakfast), and admission to all speakers/panels during the conference.

Prior to April 5, 2016 (Early Bird)

  • $750 – first registrant from organization
  • $850 – second registrant from organization
  • $1,220 – all other registrants from organization

After April 5, 2016

  • $1,020 – first registrant from organization
  • $1,220 – second registrant from organization
  • $1,520 – all other registrants from organization/Trustees/Non-Members

The fee to upgrade to a single room: $380 ($95/night)

After May 5, we no longer can guarantee lodging preferences at the Hilton.



You may cancel your Waterkeeper Alliance Conference registration by sending a cancellation notification email to [email protected]. Cancellations received prior to May 5 are eligible for a full refund less a $50 administrative fee. Cancellations after May 5 forfeit any refund from Waterkeeper Alliance. Travel costs associated with the conference are not eligible for refunds; individuals who have made travel arrangements via Waterkeeper Alliance will be held responsible for any costs related to bookings, reservations and associated fees. And remember, just because you chose to not read this, doesn’t make it untrue.



  • January 4: Registration Opened
  • January 15: Panel Proposal Deadline
  • January 30: Scholarship Deadline
  • March 30: Scholarship Notifications
  • April 5: Early Bird Deadline
  • May 5: Cancellation Refund Deadline
  • May 5: Registration Deadline. Lodging after this date is not guaranteed
  • June 1 – 5: Waterkeeper Alliance Annual Conference



Registration for our 2016 Annual Conference is now closed.



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Q: When should I plan to arrive in Wilmington?
A: Unless you have other obligations, the kick-off for the conference is Wednesday, June 1, at about 5pm.

Q: Okay, so when should I plan to leave Wilmington?
A: Wait, why are you talking about leaving when you haven’t even arrived? Was it something we said? The official conference program ends late Saturday night; if you don’t want to miss anything – and we’re guessing you don’t – you should plan to depart the hotel any time on Sunday, June 5.

Q: Does Wilmington have an airport?
A: Yes. The Wilmington International Airport’s abbreviation is (ILM). In terms of airports, it’s small and easy to navigate, but as Douglas Adams reminds us: It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on earth has ever produced the expression, ‘As pretty as an airport.’

Note that Wilmington, Delaware also has an airport, but I’m not even going to give you the airport name or abbreviation for that one. If it doesn’t say ILM – don’t fly there.

Q: How do I get from the Wilmington Airport (ILM) to the Hilton?
A: The Hilton Wilmington Riverside offers free shuttles if you SIGN UP in-advance. Shuttles run between 5am and 11p. Meet your shuttle outside the baggage claim area (it’s a small airport); shuttles run about every 45 minutes.

Q: I asked for a specific roommate, but I was assigned to someone else – what happened?
A: You seriously haven’t lived until you’ve been asked to place over 250 people with roommates. If you selected a specific person, but that is not who you are rooming with, one of many things may have happened, including: the person you selected is not attending; the person you selected opted for a single room; the person you selected, selected someone else (awkward); and/or we goofed. The good news is: there’s no bad roommates when it comes to Waterkeepers. Enjoy your new friend, with our compliments.

Q: How come you often have free beer, but we have to pay for wine and cocktails?
A: Excellent question. I’m surprised you didn’t ask this one earlier. It’s not that we hate cocktails or wine (quite to the contrary), it’s simply that hotel policies mandate that they charge corkage fees per individual bottle/keg. As you can probably imagine, paying a fee for a keg is far more economical. And yes, we DO know that they can serve wine in kegs, but we don’t yet have a connection with a vineyard willing to donate the fermented grapes.

Q: Any guidelines for Skit Night?
We’re so glad you asked. Going back to the Portland, OR (2012) conference in 2012, each of the past four conferences we’ve provided the opportunity for each region to showcase their talents (and, we use that term very loosely) during Waterkeeper Alliance’s annual skit night.  And each year these skits have gotten better, or at least more rehearsed.  And longer (which is why we now have guidelines).  

Each region will prepare, practice, and then perform a skit, song or ‘act’ in front of all attendees.  And you will be judged…. By your peers for sure, but also by a panel of judges. You can make us laugh, you can make us cry, you can make us laugh and cry. But, you can’t be on stage longer than 8 minutes.

  • Time limit: Each skit must be kept under 8 minutes
  • A/V available: 3 microphones (1 in stand and two roaming microphones).  Audio capability with AUX hookup for devices or audio played through content on MacBook.  Video projection from MacBook that can play CDs, online streaming content, PPTs or other content from a thumbdrive or other storage device.
  • Participation: Must have at least 50% participation from those present in your region
  • Props: No fire, no explosives, no live animals