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2021 Grant Recipients

Project Grants

Coalition to Save the Menominee River, Ltd

Amount: $2750

Project Title: Protection of the Menominee River, Part 2

Project Summary: The coalition proposes to use money from this grant to support activities that will educate the public, ensure a healthy river for generations, as well as to support its environmental legal team to challenge plans and permits submitted by the mining company 

Just Transition Northwest Indiana

Amount: $3750

Project Title: Protect Lake Michigan

Project Summary: The goal of our project is to enact a complete clean closure (removal) of all toxic coal ash at the Michigan City Generating Station through a petition delivery event and other associated tactics, as the station’s closure plan does not currently require removal of all the ash.  

Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition

Amount: $3000

Project Title: Protect Our Plan, Growth Planning Advocacy

Project Summary: Funds will go toward raising awareness about laws that are being violated, and the impacts of growth on water quality, by engaging citizens, municipal Councils, regional Councils, municipal staff and the media.  Planned activities involve supporting member group action with public engagement, social media, newsletters and webinars that serve to give people the tools and language they need to act

Sterling Water Stewards

Amount: $4500

Project Title: Developing Fact-Based Strategies for Protecting a Sole-Source Municipal Aquifer

Project Summary: Funds will be used to protect the recharge area of the sole source aquifer supplying drinking water to the Village of Fair Haven and portions of the rural Town of Sterling from a proposed bottling plant that could threaten both supply and quality of public water.

Blue Mountain Watershed Trust Foundation

Amount: $2000

Project Title: Protect Niagara Escarpment & Headwaters of Pretty River

Project Summary: Participate with Party status at the Niagara Escarpment Hearing Office (NEHO) hearing on the proposal by the Township of Clearview to upgrade a summer-only road to a year-round road. 

Friends of the Black River Forest

Amount: $3000

Project Title: Saving Rare Lake Michigan Dunes and Wetlands from a Golf Course Development

Project Summary: The Friends of the Black River Forest will use this grant to support their ongoing legal action to save the Lake Michigan shoreline as well as the Black River from a private golf course development. 

Michigan Hydro Relicensing Coalition

Amount: $4500

Project Title: Grassroots Citizen Participation at Michigan Hydropower Projects

Project Summary:  This project will follow the relicensing of three hydropower projects seeking re-licensing. 


Amount: $4500

Project Title: Reverse the Mine Water Permit

Project Summary: In 2021, WaterLegacy’s objective is to secure a Minnesota Court of Appeals ruling reversing the water pollution permit issued by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency in December 2018 for this mine.

Wellington Water Watchers

Amount: $3000

Project Title: Protecting Groundwater & Communities With an Aggregate Moratorium (title was too long in salesforce and got cut off)

Project Summary: Funds will be applied to support a coordinated public awareness campaign to create municipal & provincial pressure for moratorium on new permits to take water for aggregate operations, so current regulations can be reviewed & improved to protect drinking water.

Communications Grants

Canadian Environmental Law Foundation

Amount: $22500

Project Title: Lead-Free Drinking Water for All in Ontario

Project Summary: The ultimate goal of the campaign is to seek replacement of all lead service lines in Ontario.  To move toward accomplishing this goal, we will seek to increase public awareness, improve consistency in testing and reporting, and remove the cost barrier to lead service line replacement.

Illinois Environmental Council

Amount: $22500

Project Title: Traditional and Digital Communications Training

Project Summary: In order to strengthen our movement throughout the state and amplify our voices, IEC would like to work with Gud Marketing to develop a communications workshop series for our affiliates.

Midwest Environmental Advocates

Amount: $22500

Project Title: PFAS Citizens Call-to-Action: Campaign to Demand Municipal Testing for PFAS

Project Summary: Midwest Environmental Advocates (MEC) proposes to work with partner organizations and engage citizens throughout Wisconsin to demand that local and state regulators take action to address the contamination of our natural resources with per-and polyflouroalkyl substances (PFAS).  Due to lack of enforceable standards at the state and federal levels, municipalities throughout the state have been reluctant to test their drinking water systems and wastewater treatment facilities.  As a result, the full extent of PFAS contamination remains unknown.

Northeast-Midwest Institute

Amount: $22500

Project Title: Advancing Awareness of the Water Affordability Crisis in the Region (title was too long in salesforce)

Project Summary: The proposed communications work will endeavor to utilize media outreach, social media, and online programs such as policy webinars to disseminate critical policy information on water affordability.  The goal will be to reach new audiences with research findings, to develop a database of interested individuals and organizations, and to engage this audience in the new water affordability program.


Amount: $22500

Project Title: Increasing Public Dialogue Around Protecting Pennsylvania’s Lake Erie Watershed

Project Summary: To increase awareness of the threats and continue to build a constituency around addressing these threats. PennFuture plans to establish coordinated social media sites on several platforms as a means of educating a more diverse constituency and allowing those constituents to connect with one another.

We The People of Detroit

Amount: $22500

Project Title: Outreach for Water Affordability

Project Summary: The project will help with public outreach regarding the importance of affordable water in communities across the country.  Explicit water affordability plans are necessary to ensure that everyone can participate in the water system through income indexed water rates and prohibitions on shutting water off.  This outreach will highlight the perils of not having water and why water must not be shut off.

Great Lakes Network Grants

Citizens for a Safe & Clean Lake Superior

Amount: $5000

Project Title: Expert Witness/Consultant Fund 2021

Project Summary: Funding will help to defray the cost of assembling the necessary team of ecological consultants and scientific experts to advise on the ecological risks and impacts,  prepare to submit cogent public comment during future regulatory processes, and to provide timely expert testimony and comment when needed regarding a proposed launch pad on the Lake Superior shore.

Evergreen Community Development Initiative

Amount: $5000

Project Title: Flint Community Lab Training

Project Summary: Evergreen Community Development Initiative is requesting $5,000 to support training of nine Flint students in community outreach, communications, and proper lab techniques.

Lake Erie Waterkeeper

Amount: $3500

Project Title: Tracking Changes in the Sandusky River Watershed with the Use of Technology

Project Summary: This project will study and map/report on a CAFO, and as a result, manure changes in the Sandusky River using a tool created by ELPC that uses satellite and other technology to determine the number of facilities and animals, the amount of manure, and the amount of phosphorus produced in the Sandusky River watershed.

Mining Action Group of the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition

Amount: $5000

Project Title: Mapping Threats to Wetlands and Wild Lands (title was too long in salesforce)

Project Summary: In order to better protect Upper Michigan’s freshwater resources from the threats of metallic mining exploration, we propose to redesign our existing “Mining Threat” maps to create a series of interactive online “story maps” utilizing the Google Earth and Google Maps platform.

The Junction Coalition

Amount: $5000

Project Title: Environmental Justice and the Cost of Water

Project Summary: The Junction Coalition requests funding to continue discussion of a moratorium on residential water shutoffs, to address lead infrastructure in the aging homes, to provide sink filtration apparatus for water used for cooking and drinking, and for providing continued education to residents to build trust and a sense of advocacy for themselves and others.

The Junction Coalition

Amount: $1000

Project Title: General Operating Funds

Project Summary: General Operating Funds from a gift from the Alliance for the Great Lakes

Wellington Water Watchers

Amount: $3000

Project Title: Protecting Our Waterways

Project Summary: The scope of the work entails retaining a lawyer for legal advice, review of documents, and assistance with producing public education materials to stop a proposed deep geological repository for irradiated nuclear fuel bundles.

Special Opportunity Grants

New Image Lifeskills Academy, Inc

Amount: $500

Project Title: Water Filter and Lead Education at the Don Scott House

Project Summary: Funds will be used to install a water filter and water pitcher with educational materials about flushing and proper filter use, inform about health impacts of lead, work toward obtaining donated filters to distribute, and incorporating lead education into their existing program on healthy eating.

Benton Harbor Water Council

Amount: $5000

Project Title: General Support

Project Summary: The procurement of funds under this grant serve the purpose of assisting the Benton Harbor community Water Council (BHWC) with expenditures related to the water distribution center operation

Benton Harbor Water Council

Amount: $2400

Project Title: Compliance with the Lead and Copper Rule

Project Summary: The Benton Harbor Community Water Council will continue its efforts to work with state regulators and the City to ensure compliance with the Lead and Copper Rule and to provide education regarding leaks in the system and lead pipe changes for community members.

Benton Harbor Water Council

Amount: $6000

Project Title: Funding for Water

Project Summary:  Funds will be used to purchase and distribute water for Benton Harbor residents 

Broadway Coalition

Amount: $500

Project Title: Using Artificial Intelligence to Reduce Lead Exposure

Project Summary: The goal of the project is to accelerate the removal of lead service lines from the Toledo drinking water system and to develop and implement a public campaign for residents in Broadway Coalition to minimize their lead exposure as the city replaces lead service lines.

Canadian Freshwater Alliance

Amount: $40000

Project Title: General Operating Grant

Project Summary: These funds will be used to alleviate the pressure faced by this organization in the context of the pandemic and the undertaking of a new director.

Dungytreei Heritage Foundation

Amount: $500

Project Title: Drinking Water for Jackson

Project Summary: Lead testing in Blackman Township, Michigan revealed concerns with the City of Jackson’s water. Funding will be used to deliver samples, postage, and technology to connect with other communities working on lead in water issues.

Dungytreei Heritage Foundation

Amount: $567

Project Title: Testing Homes in Jackson, MI

Project Summary: Funds will be sent directly to Brighton Analytical to pay actual expenses for testing homes in Jackson, Michigan for lead.

Evergreen Community Development Initiative

Amount: $5000

Project Title: Flint Development Center Communications Hire

Project Summary: Flint Development Center will hire a staff person to lead the Flint Community Lab day to day operations.  

Flint Development Center

Amount: $1517.99

Project Title: T-Shirts, Totes and More

Project Summary: By creating t-shirts for our youth volunteers, a united front will be on display that signifies to the community that these are the people that can be trusted with water quality concerns.  The magnets will go home with visitors and clients for future reference 

Junction Creek Stewardship Committee

Amount: $500

Project Title: Stream Monitoring to Inform Watershed Management Decisions (Title was too long in salesforce, got cut off)

Project Summary: Funds will be used to carry out the stream monitoring project, such as replacing materials and supplies, staff training and skill development, and related mileage expenses.

Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands (MCATS)

Amount: $255

Project Title: Artful Activism Over Labor Day Weekend

Project Summary: Funds will be used to purchase supplies to engage people in the discussions on Line 5.

Nearby Nature Milwaukee

Amount: $500

Project Title: Nearby Nature Database Project

Project Summary: Nearby Nature Milwaukee plans to develop a database of environmental organizations and individuals in the community so that members of the community can easily find support.

The Junction Coalition

Amount: $1531.14

Project Title: Affordability Assessment Program

Project Summary: Junction Coalition will work with the Toledo Water Council to help community members understand the affordability assessment and eventual affordability program to ensure community members are able to take advantage of the outcomes.  This will continue to activate local people power in decision-making and assist in municipal engagement.

We The People of Detroit

Amount: $25000

Project Title: Consultant Fees

Project Summary: We the People of Detroit will use funds to complete a cost analysis for implementing affordability programs in Michigan Cities.  The grant increase will be used to help pay the consultants fees to accomplish this work.

We The People of Detroit

Amount: $4000

Project Title: Funding for Water

Project Summary: We the People of Detroit requests funds to purchase and have delivered water resources for Michigan communities.

Voice Builder Grants

Coalition to Save the Menominee River, Ltd

Amount: $3000

Project Title: Protection of the Menominee River Through Social Media

Project Summary: The Coalition proposes to grow its base of followers, volunteers and financial supporters by expanding its connections and building a broader database using technology and social media.  

Benton Harbor Water Council

Amount: $12500

Project Title: Identify Lead Lines and Inform Benton Harbor Residents

Project Summary: This grant will permit Benton Harbor Community Water Council a wider reach throughout the city by having a system to track the city’s progress and relay messages to the community. 

Chicago Community Water Council

Amount: $14000

Project Title: Let’s Get The Word Out About Chicago’s Water Affordability Plan!

Project Summary: With this grant, they will be able to extend their reach in Chicago, create a database to keep families informed about water programs and issues, document their successes, and be an example to the city on how to get the word out.

Evergreen Community Development Initiative

Amount: $14000

Project Title: Youth in Action Cohort 

Project Summary: This project is focused on training youth and community members of the Flint Water Lab so they have the necessary skills to communicate with local, state, and regional residents in need of water quality testing.

Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation

Amount: $14000

Project Title: Organizational Technology and Communications Integration and Upgrade

Project Summary: Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation’s database is in several formats and needs integration to better communicate with their members and the public.

PFAS Alliance

Amount: $14000

Project Title: Empowering & Educating PFAS Impacted Communities (title was too long in salesforce)

Project Summary: The PFAS Alliance is seeking support to expand their web presence by providing easily understood technical and regulatory information and a forum for impacted communities to network, build capacity, ask questions and share ideas.  The enhanced web site will provide stakeholders with links to relevant health and site information, assistance to tell their stories, organize a data repository, develop a social media presence, and support the facilitation of citizen efforts to reach out and regularly meet with regulatory and legislative representatives

Project NEED Foundation

Amount: $12500

Project Title: Identify Lead Lines for Replacement and Inform Benton Harbor Residents

Project Summary: Working alongside the Benton Harbor Community Water Council assisting their neighbors in staying up to date on what the city is doing with lead pipes.  The use of this technology will augment Project Need’s efficiency while building a closer relationship to the community 

Toledo Community Water Council

Amount: $14000

Project Title: Building Community Capacity Beyond the Digital Divide

Project Summary: The goal of this program is to create an efficient system of working with community members of a multi-generational, predominantly black neighborhood to ensure that the information goes out around water affordability, lead line replacement, and water quality.  Oftentimes there is a gap in access to information and technology in such communities, creating a simple database and easy-to-use tools for communications allows grassroots communities to bridge these gaps and build capacity.  

Water is Life

Amount: $14000

Project Title: Developing a Permanent Online Platform for the Water is Life Festival

Project Summary: The Water is Life Festival is an annual event that celebrates our connection to the water and builds power through community so we can work towards living in a holistic way with the water and protect it from those who seek to exploit or endanger it.  We are in the process of forming a nonprofit organization and our goal is to offer educational events throughout the year that bring people together both virtually and in-person to celebrate our waters and to share solutions to protect our resources, many that are being implemented by indigenous peoples.