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2022 Grant Recipients

Fall Project Grants

Aquachain Foundation

Amount: $1,800

Project Title: Student-Led School Drinking Water Testing and Data Monitoring

Project Description: The Aquachain Foundation is a student-led nonprofit that offers free water testing and a blockchain-based platform for water quality monitoring on campus. Aquachain’s goal is to help test the drinking systems of as many schools as possible, especially in low-income and disadvantaged communities. They will also be working to promote water stewardship at schools and increase transparency of lead levels.


Citizens for a Safe and Clean Lake Superior

Amount: $4,500

Project Title: Prevent Proposed Rocket Spaceport Launch Site

Project Description: The project will work to protect Lake Superior and its coastal habitat, wetlands, and groundwater from a proposed industrial vertical rocket spaceport launch site on the pristine coastline 10 miles north of Marquette. Funding will be used to work with experts to prepare clear messaging to mobilize effective opposition and to hire local college students to focus on further research, community engagement, and messaging regarding the issues.


Friends of Euclid Creek  

Amount: $1,500

Project Title: Education and Advocacy for Riparian and Wetland Setbacks 

Project Description: Freshwater Future grant dollars will be used to facilitate workshops for communities in the Euclid Creek Watershed with the goal of educating about the need for continued enforcement of riparian and wetland setback ordinances to protect Euclid Creek. 


Friends of the Black River Forest  

Amount: $2,000

Project Title: Claiming Our Water: Creating Sheboygan Water Stewards 

Project Description: Claiming Our Water will create and empower local Water Stewards through education and opportunities for action and advocacy to protect and restore the freshwater resources within our watershed. This will consist of a year-long series of educational presentations on water that will include water science, field experiences, and culminate in the creation of Claiming Our Water Sheboygan, a local citizens’ group engaging in monitoring, testing, and advocating for the protection and restoration of our freshwater resources.


Lake Erie Waterkeeper  

Amount: $4,000

Project Title: Sampling & Reporting Where Manure is Applied in the Maumee

Project Description: The project will include sampling up and downstream from where manure is being applied and testing for dissolved reactive phosphorus (the driver of Lake Erie harmful algal blooms), dissolved oxygen, and E.Coli. Eight to ten samples will be taken before and after heavy rainfalls to test for suspected excessive manure. Results will go to the State of Ohio and will be publicly reported with an info sheet. 


Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands 

Amount: $3,000

Project Title: Monitoring the Straits of Mackinac and the Pipeline

Project Description: The goal of this project is to create a monitoring group through facilitating workshops to educate and activate people on documenting and reporting incidents at any point along the entirety of the pipeline, and ways to be effective at monitoring the Straits of Mackinac. This group will work with other water protector groups to share information to protect the Great Lakes.


Project NEED Foundation 

Amount: $4,500

Project Title: Reclaiming Clean Water and Green Spaces for Benton Harbor Residents 

Project Description: Industries have contaminated Ox Creek, yet residents continue to fish for sustenance without knowing that it’s unsafe for consumption. We will be organizing a program for youth to be environmental leaders. We will advocate for cleaning up Hall Park and Ox Creek. This will create safer green spaces for youth and families to enjoy nature and water, which would add to the quality of life for the community as a whole. 


Reform Gravel Mining Coalition  

Amount: $4,500

Project Title: Assessing the Real Costs of Gravel Mining in Ontario

Project Description: This project will hire a consultant to provide a critical analysis of the gravel mining industry’s report on the cost of gravel mining, that didn’t include environmental or social impacts, and propose a more comprehensive and accurate formula for calculating the cost of gravel mining. The results of the report will be shared with community stakeholders and support a public advocacy campaign raising awareness on the impacts of the gravel mining industry & deficiencies in the current application processes in Ontario. Gravel mining destroys the aquifer where the pit is excavated or the quarry is blasted and involves a permanent depletion of the aquifer as withdrawal exceeds recharge rates. 


Rescue Lake Simcoe Charitable Foundation  

Amount: $2,000

Project Title: Reaching New Audiences: Lake Simcoe and the Greenbelt

Project Description: Concerned that the provincial government will weaken the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan in favor of development and growth interests, Rescue Lake Simcoe wants to increase participants’ level of engagement, grow and diversify their audience, and deepen their understanding of other perspectives regarding the value of Lake Simcoe, the Greenbelt and its natural features, and what they can do to protect them.


Saginaw Community Alliance for the People  

Amount: $4,000

Project Title: Developing an Equity Framework for City Planning

Project Description: While the City of Saginaw is on the cusp of adopting its Master Plan, the Saginaw Community Alliance for the People (CAP) is advocating for the EPA’s recommendation from a 2014 report that urged the City to adopt plans for livable neighborhoods and functional green spaces. This project is an education campaign to pressure the city to adopt Saginaw CAP’s Master Plan, which was formulated alongside environmental and economic justice partners, to develop an equity framework for all future development plans in Saginaw. 


Sterling Water Stewards  

Amount: $5,000

Project Title: Protecting Regional Sole Source Aquifer from Proposed Bottling Plant

Project Description: A proposed bottling plant located in the recharge area of the sole source aquifer supplying drinking water to the Village of Fair Haven could threaten both the supply and quality of public water. Sterling Water Stewards seeks funding to hire a consulting team to assist with advocating for better protection in the recharge area and tightening of permit rights. They are also protecting rural landowners in the township from potential threats to their well water from potential bulk water extraction or other land use activities on adjacent land.


Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve, Inc.  

Amount: $1,500

Project Title: Zoning Advocacy and Landowner Education Campaign

Project Description: The goal of this project is to educate landowners and educate local officials about the benefits of  increased zoning setbacks in order to prevent encroaching riverbanks. They will also create a booklet for townships to include in information packets distributed to those applying for building permits that will include setback recommendations and will illustrate consequences to landowners of building too close to the river.

Spring Project Grants

Association for the Wolf Lake Initiative

Amount: $1,500

Project Title: Systematic Water Quality Measurement of the Wolf Lake Watershed

Project Description: Grant funds will support water quality testing of the Wolf Lake Watershed during the initial year of a decade-long effort to monitor the water. 


Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River

Amount: $2,700

Project Title: Water Celebration to Protect the Beautiful Menominee River

Project Description: In its ongoing battle to prevent a metallic sulfide mine, the Coalition to SAVE The Menominee River will hold its second annual Water Celebration on July 23, 2022, at Stephenson Island in Marinette, Wis. The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin and the Coalition will work together to hold the event. The location is near the mouth of the Menominee River, the ancestral birthplace of the Wisconsin Menominee Indian Tribe. 


Environment North

Amount: $4,320

Project Title: Environment North Nuclear Waste Issue 

Project Description: Environment North is working in northwestern Ontario on a campaign to protect waters and improve decision making around safe transportation and handling of nuclear waste using science as the foundation.


Junction Creek Stewardship Committee Inc

Amount: $4,854

Project Title: Protecting Junction Creek from Point Source Contaminants

Project Description: This project aims to protect water quality and habitat by addressing targeted point source contaminants that are entering Junction Creek and draining into Lake Huron. 


Michigan Hydro Relicensing Coalition

Amount: $5,000

Project Title: Grassroots Citizen Advocacy at Michigan Hydropower Projects

Project Description: The project will ensure that citizen conservationists’ interests are given full consideration by resource agencies and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). It will focus on four hydropower projects in various stages of the licensing process.


Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association

Amount: $1,500

Project Title: Lakeshore Homeowner Neighbor-to-Neighbor Resiliency Transition and Training Program

Project Description: The “Neighbor-to-Neighbor” program will work to expand training and tools for lakeshore landowners to implement water protection measures in and around their homes/properties. 



Amount: $5,000

Project Title: Prevent Toxic Mine Pollution

Project Description: The project will take critical next steps to prevent toxic pollution from the proposed copper-nickel mine from contaminating surface waters from the headwaters of the St. Louis River downstream to Lake Superior.


Wellington Water Watchers

Amount: $1,500

Project Title: Science Communications Assets to Support the Grassroots Gravel Mining Reform

Funds will support the development of science communications assets that reveal the threats from gravel mining to water, the ways policy falls short in upholding the science behind current water protection programs, and draw stakeholders into conversation about the need for a moratorium. 


West Grand Boulevard Collaborative

Amount: $5,000

Project Title: Rain Garden Reinvigoration 

Project Description: The Mary & Albert H. Mallory Reading Gardens are located on the grounds of the Detroit Public Library – Duffield Branch. This project is designed to encourage youth to play a major role in creating a beautiful and sustainable community.


Communications Grants

Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities

Amount: $27,000

Project Title: Elevating the Dangers of Pipelines Amongst Chicago Business Leaders

Project Description: Elevate awareness of pipelines amongst business leaders to inspire them to act and to recruit new members to join the Great Lakes Business Network and become more effective advocates for the health and prosperity of the Great Lakes region.


Michigan Environmental Council

Amount: $27,000

Project Title: Great Lakes Impact Storytelling 

Project Description: Work to develop a strategic message and content creation to tell a story of impact around Great Lakes protection efforts. This will be done by developing printed and digital materials around reducing nutrient runoff pollution in Lake Erie, addressing aging water infrastructure, and filtering out lead in our schools.


Michigan Radio

Amount: $27,000

Project Title: An Environmental e-newsletter for Michigan 

Project Description: The purpose of this project is to better serve our statewide Michigan audience with targeted environmental news content delivered straight to email inboxes. 


Minnesota Environmental Partnership

Amount: $27,000

Project Title: Boosting community engagement in cleaning up mercury in the St. Louis River

Project Description: To maximize community involvement with a relatively obscure public process,   MEP is seeking research-driven guidance on the most effective means, coupled with person-to-person grassroots organizing, to reach these marginalized communities and support their voices being engaged in the Total Maximum Daily Load process.


Wisdom Institute

Amount: $27,000

Project Title: Passing the Torch, Preserving the Flame

Project Description: Wisdom Institute developed a communications strategy to support the adaptation and execution of our Womanist Praxis theory of change by our informal network of women in ministry and spirituality that is currently being formalized as a Wise Women Circle (WWC).  At least ten elder Black women from the network will be trained and deployed as Ambassadors on water policy in Detroit and at least two will serve as members of a Water Council established by We the People of Detroit.

Voice Builder Grants

Kettle Lakes Association

Amount: $13,500

Project Title: Developing Web & Technology-Based Communication & Data Collection Systems

Project Description: Most of the leaders in the Association are learning as they go along, developing the website and maintaining the Facebook page.  Without training and support, figuring out how to develop web and technology-based systems which the not-for profit organizations can use to share information and disseminate data quickly and efficiently about water quality issues with the residents of the four Kettle Lakes is difficult.  This grant will develop greater capacity to learn how to use these and other assets to become more successful in communication, outreach and education.


Water Walkers

Amount: $13,500

Project Title: Developing Communications Tools for Water Walkers in Western New York

Project Description: Water Walkers walk to bring awareness to protect the waters from nuclear waste, fracking, contamination, and pollution.  Each step taken on these walks is a meditative prayer for protection of Mother Earth, and the humans, animals, birds, fish, and planet life that depend on the waters.  This effort has not had a database or website to date, and this project will help with coordination and communication by providing these tools.  This project will provide the communications tools needed to continue coordination and growth of this important tradition.  The website will help ensure the information and participants can be transferred to a new generation of water walkers.


Wisdom Institute

Amount: $14,000

Project Title: Passing the Torch, Preserving the Flame

Project Description: Wisdom Institute developed a communications strategy to support the adaptation and execution of their Womanist Praxis theory of change by an informal network of women ministry and spirituality that is currently being formalized as a wise Women’s circle. At least ten elder Black women from the network will be trained and deployed as Ambassadors on water policy in Detroit and at least two will serve as members of a Water council established by We the People of Detroit.

Great Lakes Network

Great Lakes Ecoregion Network

Amount: $2,500

Project Title: Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement submissions and public meetings/consultation

Project Description: The components of this project are:  1) prepare a report on the revised Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement,  2) Organize regional zoom meetings to collect additional public comment for the report, 3) Arrange and host in-person meetings at the Canada-U.S. Public Forum in Niagara Falls in September as required.  4) Marketing support for the above.

Special Opportunity Grants

Benton Harbor Water Council

Amount: $4,000

Project Title: Water Delivery Costs for Benton Harbor

Project Description: The grant will help with costs that are not being covered by the State of Michigan for delivering water door to door in the City.


Benton Harbor Water Council

Amount: $2,298

Project Title: Water Delivery Costs for Benton Harbor

Project Description: This grant is to cover the cost to rent a fork lift to unload pallets of bottled water.


Evergreen Community Development Initiative

Amount: $12,104

Project Title: Lab Equipment

Project Description: Purchase of scientific equipment for the Flint Community Water Lab.


Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation

Amount: $500

Project Title: Transportation to Zoning Board Meeting

Project Description: Funds will be used to provide bus transportation to a zoning board meeting for elderly community members to comment on an asphalt mixing site in Northwest Detroit.



Amount: $750

Project Title: Support for Fond du Lac Band objection to Mining Federal Permit

Project Description: The upcoming Clean Water Act objection process is the first time that any tribe has exercised the right to object to a federal permit as a “downstream state”.  A successful outcome is critical to protect environment health and water quality in the Lake Superior Basin as well as to set precedent for tribal rights and sovereignty. 


Benton Harbor Water Council

Amount: $3,363

Project Title: Security Cameras and Installation at Water Staging Site

Project Description: This grant is to cover the cost of a security camera and its installation.


Benton Harbor Water Council

Amount: $3,000

Project Title: Water Distribution

Project Description: The Benton Harbor Water Council will provide door to door water distribution of water provided by the state of Michigan.  


Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands

Amount: $750

Project Title: Organizing Support to Protect Water from a Pipeline

Project Description: The grant will be used for portapotties and food associated with the Camp Pipe Out event, which is supporting and expanding on existing efforts to shut down a local pipeline. 


Project NEED Foundation

Amount: $750

Project Title: Youth Education and Building a Rain Garden

Project Description: This project will engage youth to help advocacy on rain garden projects around Ox Creek.


Flint Community Water Lab

Amount: $12,594

Project Title: Lab Equipment

Project Description: Purchase of scientific equipment for the Flint Community Water Lab