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2023 Grant Recipients

Fall Project Grants

Benton Harbor Community Water Council 

Amount: $2,500

Project Title: Educating Residents on Water Filters After Lead Line Replacement

Project Description: The Benton Harbor Community Water Council will use funding to go door to door for one month, making sure that all residents have a water filter and know how to use it, along with when and how to replace it.

Capital Area Friends of the Environment

Amount: $3,100

Project Title: Determining Extent of Contamination from Coal Ash Impoundment 

Project Description: After some surrounding wells of a local power plant showed elevated levels of chemicals associated with coal ash impoundment leakage, Capital Area Friends of the Environment is seeking funds to conduct additional testing to determine the extent of the contamination, as well as to hire an expert to push for contamination clean up and recommend next steps for the community. 

Environment North 

Amount: $2,800

Project Title: Environment North Nuclear Waste Storage & Transportation

Project Description: Environment North is concerned about the safety of the transportation, temporary shallow storage, and eventual unmonitored abandonment of 7.2 million used waste nuclear fuel bundles in Northwestern Ontario. Pushing for waste to be monitored and maintained as close to the nuclear plants as possible, Environment North is hoping to expand this message to communities and First Nation communities that would be impacted. 

Lake Erie Waterkeeper

Amount: $2,800

Project Title: Making the Case to Address Manure Overapplication

Project Description: Seeking to reduce phosphorus runoff from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) that are applying untreated manure/sewage on tiled fields, Lake Erie Waterkeeper will hire a consultant to comment on two CAFO permits in the watershed that are to be determined. They will also be tracking water quality locally.

Pointes Protection Association

Amount: $2,800

Project Title: Water Testing to Determine the Extent of PFAS Contamination in the Upper St. Mary’s River

Project Description: Funding will be used to test for PFAS near the Sault Ste. Marie Airport. After PFAS contamination had been recorded on the property and requests for testing information have now gone unanswered for two years, Pointes Protection Association is taking the health of their drinking water into their own hands to protect their community.

Project NEED Foundation

Amount: $2,000

Project Title: Reclaiming Clean Water and Green Spaces for Benton Harbor Residents, Part 2

Project Description: Project Need Foundation wishes to continue their work focused on cleaning up Ox Creek in Benton Harbor and creating safe green spaces for youth and families to enjoy. With industries having contaminated the creek, making fish unhealthy for consumption, Project Need wishes to organize a program for youth to be environmental leaders that would help add to the quality of life for the community as a whole.

Protect the Porkies

Amount: $3,300

Project Title: Protect the Porkies, Protect Lake Superior, Stop the Mine

Project Description: With a metallic sulfide mine being proposed in extreme proximity to Lake Superior, Porcupine Mountains State Park, and the North Country Trail, Protect the Porkies is seeking funding to raise awareness on the clearcutting, wetland destruction, and stream alteration that is progressing without attention. They will also promote their petition calling for the cancellation of the mine, monitor nearby water quality, and hire an attorney to assist them in the process. 

Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance

Amount: $3,500

Project Title: Enforcing Local, State, and Federal Laws to Protect the Kalamazoo River Mouth

Project Description: On the shore of the Kalamazoo River Mouth, a developer has proposed excavating a 50-slip marina that would effectively erase 6.5 acres of Michigan’s Critical Dune Area, alter groundwater that feeds the interdunal wetlands, and impact water quality and cultural values of the Potawatomi Nations. Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance will work to educate residents and file an appeal of the local permits.

Sterling Water Stewards

Amount: $2,800

Project Title: Preventing Point Source Pollution of Drinking Water Resources

Project Description: Sterling Water Stewards currently is focusing on potential point sources of pollution in the Town of Sterling, NY. They are actively investigating both the technical and legal status of three potential point sources of pollution:  (1) a Superfund site (2) a gravel quarry; and (3) a scrap processing location. Grant funding will support legal and technical consultants, presentations on point source pollution, and public education and advocacy regarding the need for continual monitoring of groundwater.

Superior Rivers Watershed Association

Amount: $3,300

Project Title: Providing Tools for Watershed Protection Around a Pipeline Reroute

Project Description: Superior Rivers Watershed Association (SRWA) proposes to expand its volunteer water quality monitoring to rivers along a pipeline reroute. Collecting baseline data prior to construction activities will allow them to document potential changes in water quality due to the project’s blasting, drilling, and forest clearing. The reroute includes 41 miles of new pipeline that are estimated to cross 186 waterways, all of which empty into the Bad River and Lake Superior, threatening the waters of the region. 


Amount: $2,800

Project Title: St. Louis River Watershed TMDL: Critical Science on Sulfate & Mercury  

Project Description: With the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency choosing a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) approach that excludes the role of sulfate in mercury release or methylation, WaterLegacy wishes to ensure that Minnesota’s mercury TMDL study uses current science on the relationship between sulfate and mercury contamination of fish to protect and restore the St. Louis River. They will conduct an engagement and advocacy strategy to serve as an effective ally of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and protect the St. Louis River from sulfate pollution and mercury contamination.

Spring Project Grants


Association for the Wolf Lake Initiative

Amount: $2,000

Project Title: Wolf Lake Watershed Monitoring and Preventing Unlawful Disposal Project

Project Description: The Association for the Wolf Lake Initiative will monitor water bodies in the watershed to document water chemistry and water quality.  Additionally, they will work across the bi-state watershed (Illinois/Indiana) with government entities, private  landowners, and public health officials to address and reduce unlawful waste disposal that threatens the health of the waters in the Wolf Lake Watershed.

Canandaigua Lake Watershed Alliance

Amount: $2,000

Project Title: Understanding and Addressing PFAS in Canandaigua Lake, NY.

Project Description: Canandaigua Lake Watershed Association will analyze lake foam for PFAS and develop and execute a PFAS awareness and advocacy campaign to elicit positive behavioral changes among watershed stakeholders and promote policy changes that reduce PFAS entry into the lake.

Chautauqua-Conewango Consortium

Amount: $4,000

Project Title: Community Engagement & Action on Aquatic Herbicides, HAB’s & PFAS

Project Description: The Chautauqua-Conewango Consortium is working to address threats from herbicide applications, HAB’s, PFAS, microplastics and more.  Funding will be used to increase visibility and advocacy efforts to protect the waters of the region.  This will be through ensuring that all requirements associated with the herbicide permit review process are enforced, advocating for HAB’s PFAS, and microplastic protections, and playing a more visible role in the decision making related to setting and implementing policies and regulations.

Community Treehouse Center Detroit

Amount: $2,000

Project Title: Community Rain Garden for Flood Reduction & Community Engagement

Project Description: Residents near Community Treehouse Center Detroit are still addressing impacts of the June 2021 flooding in Detroit.  This project aims to combat local flooding and stormwater runoff in the community through the implementation of rain gardens as well as provide a natural habitat for wildlife, while serving as a healing and gathering space for the community.

Jefferson-Chalmers WATER Project

Amount: $4,000

Project Title: Engaging Youth in Water Testing & Threats from Combined Sewage Overflows

Project Description: Jefferson-Chalmers WATER Project will engage youth to test water in Fox Creek and increase awareness of the risk associated with water use in Fox Creek and its linked canals due to contamination caused by combined sewage overflows.  The project will also use test results to demand increased water quality monitoring and notification for sewage releases.

Just Transition Northwest Indiana

Amount: $5,000

Project Title: Protecting Communities & Lake Michigan: Closing the Coal Ash Waste Loophole

Project Description: Just Transition Northwest Indiana aims to influence the U.S. EPA’s Coal Combustion Residuals Rule by pushing for the closure of a dangerous loophole that exempts half of the country’s toxic coal ash waste from the regulations needed to keep our waters safe.  The project seeks to protect the Great Lakes watershed and communities dependent on it, by mobilizing public participation, collecting comments, and conducting a public education campaign.

Lake Superior Watershed Conservancy

Amount: $3,000

Project Title: Engaging Residents in Actions to Address Health & Safety of Batchawana Bay

Project Description: Batchawana Bay, located in Ontario’s Unorganized North Algoma District, lacks a formal monitoring body, leaving residents unaware of the health and safety of the waters and ecosystems within the Bay.  Lake Superior Watershed Conservancy plans to develop a comprehensive resident database, implement a communications strategy, and hold symposiums to raise awareness, educate, and engage residents in protecting the health and ecosystem of Batchawana Bay.

Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation

Amount: $2,000

Project Title: Engaging Residents on Water Issues

Project Description: Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation will educate and promote initiatives at local and state levels that offer solutions to water-related issues that they are facing, including a local bottling plant, injection wells, and potash mining operations.  To do this, they will update their existing literature, create new handouts, website content, and social media materials for public education and advocacy efforts.

Michigan Hydro Relicensing Coalition

Amount: $4,000

Project Title: Joining the Strategic Hydropower Future Planning Process & Protecting our Rivers

Project Description: As 13 aging hydropower projects are currently under review by a utility company to determine their future, Michigan Hydro Relicensing aims to engage in the planning process, advocating for the health of rivers and protecting the environment through improving water quality, maintenance commitments, and potential dam removal.  The engagement will be carried out in collaboration with state and federal resource agencies and tribal organizations responsible for the stewardship of the rivers.

National Parks of Lake Superior Foundation

Amount: $2,000

Project Title: Decarbonize the Parks of Lake Superior

Project Description: The National Parks of Lake Superior Foundation aims to decarbonize the five national parks located on Lake Superior and achieve net-zero carbon energy consumption, which will also eliminate the need to ship diesel and gasoline across Lake Superior to power parks, minimizing the risk of a spill.  The project seeks to serve as a model for other parks and the public, sharing the project’s results to inspire similar efforts in the Great Lakes region and beyond.

Seneca Lake Guardian

Amount: $3,500

Project Title: Protecting Communities from Known PFAS Contamination

Project Description: After the former Seneca Army Depot and New York’s largest landfill were both found to have dangerous levels of PFAS, Seneca Lake Guardian aims to provide PFAS Test Kits to residents with wells near the sites in order to protect communities and raise awareness about PFAS contamination in the watershed and throughout New York State.

Upper Manistee River Association

Amount: $1,000

Project Title: Identifying Invasive Algae Bloom Sites

Project Description: The Upper Manistee River Association aims to prevent the spread of harmful invasive algae, known as didymo or rock snot, through studying the water chemistry of tributaries near the Upper Manistee River.  The project will identify sites with a high probability of didymo bloom formation and implement targeted information signage to educate residents.

Water is Life

Amount: $4,000

Project Title: Water Is Life Festival 2023

Project Description: The Water is Life festival is a community collaboration striving for the protection, awareness, and education surrounding preserving freshwater.  The festival celebrates water and our connection to it through activities, music, art, and workshops. The festival recognizes the importance of water in its place and celebrates through music and arts.

West Grand Boulevard Collaborative

Amount: $4,000

Project Title: Environmental Justice & Community Benefits Negotiation

Project Description: Through community benefit negotiations, West Grand Boulevard Collaborative aims to address environmental justice, stormwater management, and affordable drinking water to create a sustainable community and better quality of life for residents in the three black historical neighborhoods within West Grand Boulevard’s district.

Williams County Alliance

Amount: $4,000

Project Title: Monitoring Impacts of a Cattle Feeding Operation on the St Joseph River

Project Description: After discovering that a confined cattle operation in the area is expanding, Williams County Alliance seeks funding to protect the watershed from increasing nutrient levels and E.coli contamination.  This will be done through gathering evidence on the water quality of the St Joseph River and its tributaries to establish a baseline and identify potential sources of nutrient contamination, and sharing evidence collected to engage residents and officials.

Communications Grants


National Wildlife Federation, Great Lakes Regional Center

Amount: $27,000

Project Title: Building Public Education & Support for Affordable Drinking Water

Project Description: The National Wildlife Federation, We the People of Detroit, and Freshwater Future are collaborating to achieve water affordability in Michigan by building public support for the Water Affordability Platform. Technical assistance will help develop messages that will appeal to diverse constituencies and communities across the state.

Citizens for a Safe & Clean Lake Superior

Amount: $27,000

Project Title: Educating & Mobilizing Powell Township to Prevent Rocket Launches

Project Description: Citizens for a Safe and Clean Lake Superior (CSCLS) has identified serious threats that a proposed rocket launch site would pose to the surrounding environment and community.  CSCLS would use this grant to educate residents on the proposed rocket launch site, as well as to launch a petition to prevent rocket launches in the township.

Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities

Amount: $27,000

Project Title: Connecting Great Lakes Business Leaders with Federal Clean Energy Incentives

Project Description: Federal clean energy funding has created a tremendous opportunity for businesses to reduce their carbon footprint.  By synthesizing these programs for our members and supporters, we will boost understanding and participation, helping to reduce emissions, and leading to businesses reducing their dependence on fossil fuels and ensuring a healthier climate future for the Great Lakes.

Illinois Environmental Council

Amount: $27,000

Project Title: Illinois is Beautiful: 30 X 30 Coalition

Project Description: This grant will help to unify a coalition voice and brand to effectively articulate and advocate for the soil and water conservation priorities to conserve 30% of Illinois’ lands and waters by 2030.

Saginaw Community Alliance for the People

Amount: $27,000

Project Title: Water Affordability in Saginaw, Michigan

Project Description: Community Alliance of the People seeks to change applicable policies to prohibit citizens losing their homes because of inability to pay for water.  With this grant, they wish to ensure their message hits all different platforms and connects with all demographics.

Great Lakes Network Grant

Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition

Amount: $2,500

Project Title: Shake the Salt out of Freshwater

Project Description: Rescue Lake Simcoe will assemble a core team of experts, lobbyists and campaigners to design a campaign that will assist small groups to advocate for stronger regulations on, or complete ban on, the use of salt in stressed freshwater watersheds.

New York Drinking Water Advocacy Grants

Water Insecurity Correction Coalition, Inc.

Amount: $2,700

Project Title: Combat Road Salt

Project Description: Due to drinking water contamination from road salt, Water Insecurity Correction Coalition, Inc. is seeking funding to provide stipends for regional Volunteer Coordinators to manage surface water testing efforts throughout the winter season, as well as advertising and outreach.

Water Insecurity Correction Coalition, Inc.

Amount: $3,000

Project Title: Fighting PFAS in Poestenkill

Project Description: After drinking water was contaminated by PFAS and the creation of a water district was recommended to connect residents to clean water, Water Insecurity Correction Coalition is advocating for federal funding to help pay for construction costs and alleviate the debt that the town would take on.


Amount: $3,000

Project Title: Continue Lead Service Line Replacement Work

Project Description: In order to continue their work on lead service line replacement in New York, TIMBER will be using funding to assist in the process of submitting, reviewing, and/or appealing freedom of information requests, meeting with regulators and public officials, conducting research, and supporting education. 

Sterling Water Stewards

Amount: $3,000

Project Title: Statewide Advocacy for Drinking Water Resource Protection in NY

Project Description: Sterling Water Stewards will be using professional hydrogeological services to evaluate environmental conditions at a local Superfund site, which will be followed by outreach that will be determined after the results of the evaluation are released.

Special Opportunity Grants

Benton Harbor Water Council

Amount: $4,000

Project Title: Support for Water Filters

Project Description: Funds will be used for water filter distribution, installation and training throughout Benton Harbor now that lead water lines have been replaced.

Benton Harbor Water Council

Amount: $4,000

Project Title: Water Filter Installation and Education #2

Project Description: Funds will be used to continue water filter distribution, installation and training throughout Benton Harbor now that lead water lines have been replaced.

Concerned Residents of Core City

Amount: $750

Project Title: Fighting Air Pollution Near Residences

Project Description: Funds will be used in opposing plans to install an open-air concrete crushing facility adjacent to homes, local businesses including a large urban farm, a school, and a houseless center.

Project NEED Foundation

Amount: $750

Project Title: Emergency Community Meeting

Project Description: After residents were left out of the process for the Benton Harbor Alternatives Analysis, Project NEED plans to host an emergency community meeting to ensure engagement from residents and provide information for upcoming plans.