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Great Lakes Areas of Concern Conference

Accelerate Cleanup
& Restoration


Photo Credit: Steve Seilo, Photodynamix

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drone view of City Deck in Downtown Green Bay along the Fox River

Great Lakes Areas of Concern Conference

September 13-14, 2023
Pre-Conference September 12, 2023
KI Convention Center, Green Bay

The 2023 Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOC) Conference is hosted by the U.S. EPA and Wisconsin DNR Office of Great Waters. Photo Credit: Chris Rand

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Pre-Conference Activities

A Collaboration Between:

Great Lakes Restoration, Environmental Protection Agency, WIsconsin Department of Natural Resources


The fee for the conference is $95 and includes breakfast and lunch on Wednesday and breakfast on Thursday. Register by Wednesday, September 6. Day-of registrations will be accepted, and there will be an ability to pay for registration fees on-site. Day-of registrants are not guaranteed a meal.

Learn more about pre-conference activities for Tuesday, September 12. Any costs associated with these activities are not included in the registration fee.

Excited for the conference? Be sure to download our Whova app

Printable Agenda (PDF)

Day 1

Wednesday, September 13

7:45-8:45 a.m.
Registration & Breakfast
8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Poster Viewing
8:45-9:45 a.m.
Welcoming Remarks
9:45-10 a.m.
Wisconsin AOCs: Setting the Stage
10-10:45 a.m.
The Value of Long-Term Species Monitoring Data in Great Lakes AOCs and LAMPs: A Case Study Using the Bald Eagle
10:45-11 a.m.
11-11:45 a.m.
Creating Meaningful and Equitable Access to the Lower Rouge River
11:45 a.m.-12 p.m.
Lunch Set Up
12 p.m.-1:20 p.m.

12:30-1:20 p.m. Lunchtime Panel: Great Lakes Champions, featuring John Hartig in conversation with Vicky Harris and H.J. (Bud) Harris

1:20-1:30 p.m.
Afternoon Overview & Go to Breakout Rooms
1:30-3 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

Choose one of four sessions to attend. All sessions listed below.

3-3:45 p.m.
Break & Poster Viewing
3:45-5:15 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

Choose one of four sessions to attend. All sessions listed below.

6 p.m.
Optional Dinner: Titletown District Experience

Join us for a game day experience in the shadow of historic Lambeau Field. Walk through Lambeau Field atrium, shop at the Pro Shop, and then meet up at Stadium View Bar and Grill for a tailgate-style dinner. Dinner is optional at $21, and a cash bar will also be available. 

Day 2

Thursday, September 14

8-8:45 a.m.
Networking Breakfast
8:45-9 a.m.
Reconvene & Recap of Day One
9-9:30 a.m.
Getting Work Done at AOCs
9:30-9:45 a.m.
9:45-11:15 a.m.
Breakout Sessions

Choose one of four sessions to attend. All sessions listed below.

11:15-11:30 a.m.
11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Lake Superior Headwaters Sustainability Partnership Establishes a Systems Approach, Building Off AOC Efforts
12:15-12:30 p.m.
Wrap-up & Follow-Up Actions
12:30 p.m.


Venue Map (PDF)

Breakout Sessions

Breakout sessions are being planned around the following themes. Please note these sessions are subject to change.

  • Community Perspectives on Environmental Justice in AOCs
  • Indigenous Perspectives Strengthening the Area of Concern Program
  • Utilizing Geospatial Environmental Justice Tools in the AOC program
  • Achieving 2030 AOC Goals: Addressing Challenges & Planning for Success
  • Turning Tribulations into Triumphs: Lessons Learned from Great Lakes Legacy Act Remedial Projects
  • Stories of Accomplishments, Successes & Challenges from Management Action Implementers
  • GLNPO’s Quality Assurance Program Supporting the GLRI
  • New Technology & Novel Approaches to BUI Assessment for Informing BUI Removals
  • Evaluating the Bird or Animal Deformities/Reproduction Problems BUI
  • Making Habitat Restoration Projects Climate Resilient: Case Studies from AOCs & Beyond
  • Navigating Project Management Challenges: Requirements for Federally Funded Management Actions
  • Economic Revitalization in AOC Communities & Maintaining Access for Everyone
Community/Public Advisory Committee (CAC/PAC) Travel Support

CAC/PAC travel support will be provided for the 2023 conference. Additional information about eligibility and application procedures are now available.

Travel Support Eligibililty

Poster Abstract Submission

Please consider sharing your experiences and insights with a poster. Submit your idea by completing the poster abstract submission form. The deadline for submitting poster abstracts is July 7. Separate abstract submissions should be submitted for each individual poster proposal.

Poster themes for this year’s conference:
  1. Remedial Action Plan (RAP) Implementation: projects & research that address environmental health
  2. RAP Implementation: projects & research that address human health/quality of life
  3. Project Management Solutions
  4. Communication and Collaboration Successes
  5. Post-Management Actions, Post-BUI Removals, and Post-Delisting research and activities

Ideas to help you think about poster content that apply to each theme are included in the poster abstract submission form. Abstracts will be evaluated by a team of conference planners, and proposers will be notified if their poster has been accepted by August 4.


Please contact Barb Huberty, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, at or (218) 302-6630; or Brie Kupsky, Wisconsin DNR, or (920) 662-5465.

Thank You, Sponsors!

This conference is made possible through the support of our sponsors.

Leading Sponsors

GEI Consultants


Sustaining Sponsors

Anchor QEA with anchor and waves

Sevenson Environmental Services

Supporting Sponsors

Environmental Consulting & Technology


SWCA Environmental Consultants

University of Wisconsin Extended Campus


Wisconsin Public Service Foundation

Have Questions?
For special accommodations, please contact Kendra Axness, Wisconsin DNR, If you have any other questions about the conference, please contact:

Amy Pelka, Ph.D.

Great Lakes Remediation and Restoration Section Supervisor
Great Lakes National Program Office
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(312) 886-6785

Kendra Axness

LaMP and AOC coordinator
Office of Great Waters
(608) 267-0700