2017 Annual Conference

June 7 – 11 | Park City, UT
Deer Valley Resort

Conference Evaluation


Photo Credit: J. Wathen

Conference photos (link and embedded below)
*if you use any of these, please credit John Wathen

Waterkeeper Annual Conference 2017

Email-icon Questions about the conference?Find more about Weather in Deer Valley, UT Please contact:  [email protected]

Conference Information and Links


  • January 15: Panel Proposal Deadline
  • January 31: Scholarship Deadline
  • Feb. 15: Early Bird Registration Deadline
  • March 31 (no later than): Scholarship Notifications
  • May 15: Cancellation Refund Deadline
  • May 15: Registration Deadline.
    Lodging after this date is not guaranteed
  • June 7-11: Waterkeeper Alliance Annual Conference


Deer Valley Resort | 2250 Deer Valley Dr S | Park City, UT 84060

Our 2017 Conference will be held at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah. The nearest airport is Salt Lake City, UT (SLC). From SLC, you’ll be able to rent a car or hop on a shuttle (extra fees apply; $34.99 one-way, includes gratuity) for the 36 miles ride up to the Conference site.

Salt Lake City also is served by Greyhound and Amtrak. For those driving, carpooling is encouraged. Free overnight, heated (apparently, that’s a thing) parking is available.


Registration Rates – for both Waterkeeper Organizations and Affiliates – are highly subsidized. Registration Rates include 4-nights lodging (Wednesday night – Saturday night), all meals (Wednesday Dinner – Sunday Breakfast), and admission to all speakers/panels during the conference. Rates do NOT include any related transportation costs, including shuttles to/from Salt Lake City. Costs shown below are ‘per person’. 

Up until February 15, 2017 (Shared Occupancy/Single Occupancy)

  • $800/$1150 – first registrant from a Waterkeeper organization
  • $950/$1250 – second registrant from a Waterkeeper organization/Affiliates
  • $1300/$1750 – all other registrants from organization/Non-Members

After February 15, 2017
**NOTE: As of March 1, we are sold out of shared occupancy rooms**

  • $1050/$1500 – first registrant from a Waterkeeper organization
  • $1250/$1650 – second registrant from a Waterkeeper organization/Affiliates
  • $1600/$2000 – all other registrants from organization/Non-Members

After May 15, we no longer can guarantee lodging preferences. You are welcome to bring a guest with you to the Conference, but additional fees for meals and lodging will apply (see below).

The Day-Rates includes all meals (Wednesday Dinner – Sunday Breakfast), and admission to all speakers/panels during the conference. The Day-Rate does NOT include lodging or any related transportation costs, including shuttles to/from Salt Lake City. 

  • $575/person

Paying registrants are welcome to bring guests to the Conference. However, those bringing guests must request a ‘single’ room, and pay additional fees ($250) for their guest’s meals.



You may cancel your Waterkeeper Alliance Conference registration by sending a cancellation notification email to [email protected]. Cancellations received prior to May 15 are eligible for a full refund less a $50 administrative fee. Cancellations after May 15 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.


  • December 5: Registration Opens
  • January 15: Panel Proposal Deadline
  • January 31: Scholarship Deadline
  • February 15: Early Bird Deadline
  • March 31: Scholarship Notifications
  • May 15: Cancellation Refund Deadline
  • May 15: Registration Deadline. Lodging after this date is not guaranteed
  • June 7-11: Waterkeeper Alliance Annual Conference



Registration for our 2017 Annual Conference has closed.



Waterkeeper Alliance is working hard to secure scholarship funds for our 2017 Annual conference. And while we will do our best to assist everyone with a financial need, our generosity is limited by our funding; that’s another way of saying that scholarships to attend the conference are competitive and not guaranteed to every applicant.

As a general rule, only one scholarship per organization is available; only “1st Registrants” and “2nd Registrants” will be able to request a scholarship. Full travel and registration scholarships – with rare exception – are not available. Scholarships currently are not available for our Waterkeeper Affiliates.

The scholarship application is imbedded in the registration process. That is: you must register online to apply for a scholarship. Scholarship applicants will not need to submit any payment until awards are determined.

To be eligible for a 2017 Waterkeeper Alliance conference scholarship, applicants must:

  • Apply for a scholarship via the online registration process no later than January 31;
  • Demonstrate a financial need;
  • Represent a Waterkeeper organization in good-standing, including up-to-date licensing fees, and a recently submitted QSR.
  • If international Waterkeeper, show proof of your valid visa or proof that you are in the process of obtaining a visa (we are happy to help you with a letter of invitation, etc.);
  • Be willing to share a room at the event with a fellow attendee;
  • Make any final conference payments prior to April 20; and
  • Complete and submit an event evaluation.

Scholarship Questions
Want a sneak peek at the questions, just so you can be prepared when you make the request? Here’s what you’ll be asked:

  • Confirmation that you have read (and meet) the criteria
  • Confirmation that you have paid your 2017 Licensing Fees
  • Confirmation that your Waterkeeper Organization has completed a QSR within the past 18  months
  • Your board approved organizational operating budget?
  • Proof of valid visa, on in the process of getting one (for International participants)
  • Amount Requested?
  • Closest airport?
  • Reason for request? (50 words)
  • Previously received a Waterkeeper Alliance conference scholarship?
  • Other comments?


Scholarship Selection & Notification
We will evaluate all scholarship requests, confirm you have paid your licensing fees, and then, if applicable, send you an invoice for any balance due. We request that you please refrain from emailing us to check the status of your scholarship application. It’s not that we don’t love hearing from you, it’s just that we won’t have any information to share until we actually share it. We promise to inform you (via email) by March 30th, if not sooner.

Travel Scholarships
Travel scholarships are extremely competitive. Please note if you are awarded a full or partial scholarship to cover your flight from your closest major U.S. or international airport to Utah, a travel agent working with Waterkeeper Alliance will book your airfare. Flights will only be in/out of Salt Lake City (SLC). Any travel before or after Salt Lake, will be your responsibility.



As Waterkeeper Alliance professionals, we are ethically responsible for promoting and fostering fairness and justice for all employees and their organizations. Waterkeeper Alliance’s Code of Conduct (PDF) evolved out of a suggestion at the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness roundtable held at our 2016 Conference in Wilmington, NC. It was vetted by the DEI work group, and approved by the Board. The Code provides guidelines for creating a safe, positive, and professional environment at Waterkeeper Alliance, and at the events we host – including the Conference.



The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) have prepared some helpful know-your-rights resources for travelers:

Also, if you do run into aggressive questioning in the airport, you should consider contacting Muslim Advocates, which is collecting information about such incidents.



Q: When should I plan to arrive in Park City?
A: Unless you have other obligations, the kick-off for the conference is Wednesday, June 7, at about 5pm. Note that while the agenda is not yet set, our New Waterkeeper Orientation often is held at Noon on Wednesday.

Q: Okay, so when should I plan to leave Park City?
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 11. Allow about 60 minutes to get to the airport.

Q: Does Salt Lake City have an airport?
A: Yes. The Salt Lake International Airport’s abbreviation is SLC. It’s a large airport with many amenities and flights – but it’s still an airport.  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.’

Q: How do I get from the Salt Lake Airport (SLC) to the Deer Valley?
A: We love how you are taking responsibility for your own travels. We have made arrangements with a shuttle company to transport you from the airport to Deer Valley – and then back again. The cost – for which you are responsible – is $34.99/each way, and includes gratuity. If you refuse to arrange your own transportation to the Conference site, and prefer to spend a few days at the airport, I’ve been told there’s a great bookstore in Concourse C. But, if you prefer to join us at conference, reserve your seat on a shuttle today.

Q: What’s altitude at Park City?
A: Park City lies mostly above 7,000 feet (2,100 m) above sea level, while Salt Lake City is situated at an elevation of about 4,300 feet(1,300 m).

Q: So – will I be affected by the Altitude?
A: Some people feel no adverse affects, but if you feel like crawling into bed rather than attending panels, it’s quite possible you’ve come down with altitude sickness (though, we’re very aware there are other reasons why you may feel this way). 

Altitude sickness or acute mountain sickness is a group of symptoms people can experience due to low oxygen levels at higher altitude.   The most common symptom is a headache.  This can be accompanied by stomach upset, fatigue/weakness, dizziness, and/or difficulty sleeping.   Less frequently, people can feel shortness of breath when exercising or with any exertion.  Some people describe it as “feeling hung over.”  (You may or many not be familiar with that feeling) The symptoms usually start 12-24 hours after reaching the altitude. 

Q: Can I prevent Altitude Sickness?
A: Our bodies can and will adjust to higher altitudes with time.  If you already know that you are sensitive to higher altitudes you still can have a great Conference. Instead of flying, consider driving – or perhaps spending a day or so in Salt Lake City before heading up the mountain.  The slower change in altitude may be all that is necessary to prevent the uncomfortable symptoms.  It is helpful to rest at your destination prior to exerting yourself with strenuous activity.  

It is also recommended to increase fluid intake for the first several days at higher altitude.  That should be with water and not “Polygamy Porter.”   Alcohol, sedatives, smoking and excess stress should be avoided (or, at least decreased) if possible.

Q: I heard you were going to offer a HAZWOPER refresher course. Is that true?
A: Why yes – it is true. Or, at least, we are exploring the opportunity to offer the 8-hour REFRESHER course. Why? Because we all should have one more acronym in our lives. And, because the material is relevant to Waterkeepers. We’re researching the feasibility, interest, and logistics associated with offering such a course, but if we do – it will take place on Sunday, June 11. You need not have previous HAZWOPER training to attend, but if you have not had the more intensive 24-hour or 40-hour training, taking this course will not officially ‘certified’ you; it would be for informational purposes only. 

Q: What is the temperature like in June…in Park City?
A: The average temperature in June – according to the internet – is a high of 75F/23.9C and low of 40F/4.2C. Please note that Waterkeeper Alliance is in no way responsible for weather that may be higher or lower than the stated average. For more clarity, please see definition of ‘average.’

Q: I asked for a specific roommate, but am not sharing a room with that person – what happened?
A: Deer Valley happened. Most of the rooms are suites – meaning almost all participants will be placed in single rooms with a shared ‘living’ space. Deer Valley has 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom suites. We’ll do our best to place you with your requested peeps, but you seriously haven’t lived until you’ve attempted to match 250 people with roommates/suitemates. In many cases it works, but in others, the same people don’t request each other, someone cancels at the last minute, multiple people request each other, and occasionally (please don’t let this go public), we make a mistake. If you are rooming with someone unexpected, you’ll likely leave with a new friend; feel free to thank us later.

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. Note that kegs are very challenging to have in Utah, what with their liquor laws and all, so we’re not even sure what we can provide.

Q: Any guidelines for Skit Night?
We’ve received quite a bit of feedback that we should reconsider our approach to Skit Night. Which really means, we may want to consider changing it to a more general talent show, or perhaps an opportunity to celebrate all our collective successes. Stay tuned, and please let us know your thoughts or good ideas.