As you may have heard by now, exciting changes are coming to the Great Lakes Aquatic Habitat Network and Fund (GLAHNF) and the services it offers to you. These changes are the result of a recently completed year-long assessment and planning process. Through this process we learned a great deal about the needs of groups in the region and the types of services available to meet those needs.
The mission of GLAHNF continues to be to foster and support a vital, effective grassroots sector working locally to protect aquatic habitats throughout the Great Lakes Basin. GLAHNF believes that an important link in protecting our water resources is the active involvement of citizens and citizen groups working at the local level to protect local rivers, lakes and wetlands.
The following services are now available to citizens and grassroots groups working to protect aquatic habitats in the Great Lakes Basin:
– A new annual symposium for GLAHNF grantees and other grassroots activists will focus on aquatic habitat issues, skills development, and recharging ourselves for our work. Meetings will include grantee panels, keynote speakers, skills workshops, networking, recreation, good food, and opportunities to learn from other activists doing similar work.
– More funding for grassroots groups will be avail able. A new Technical Assistance Grants program will provide funding to hire professional consultants to assist groups in developing project strategies and building the capacity of organizations such as board development, membership outreach and training.
– A new Theme Grants program will be available to Regional, State/Province and Local groups beginning in 2005. These grants will focus on the GLAHNF themes (e.g. 2003-2004 wetlands) to provide innovative assistance to grassroots groups. Projects might include issue trainings, workshops, organizational development, and more.
– Focusing our assistance around the basin of each Great Lake. This watershed approach helps us link folks working on issues in the same watershed, provide networking assistance in that watershed, and promote the principle of focusing on watersheds and their healthy function rather than on geopolitical boundaries.
– Networking assistance will be available through Lake Advisors (staffed environmental organizations selected for their ability to provide grassroots networking assistance) in the basin of each Great Lake to help you find the resources, experts and assistance you need.
– The Great Lakes Aquatic Habitat News published five times each year, featuring issue stories, grassroots updates, updates from the basin of each Great Lake.
– Stories of Successful Wetland Projects from the Field, our annual report of outstanding river,wetland and lake protection to provide ideas, inspiration, and opportunities for networking.
– Our websites,www.glhabitat.org and www.GreatLakesDirectory.org provide past issues of the GLAHNews, grant information, summaries of past grant projects, Great Lakes news articles, past issues of Stories of Successful Wetland Projects from the Field, issue resources, activist resources and more.