2005 Fall Project Grants

2005 Fall Project Grants

Citizens Against Toxic Substance (CATS)

Amount: $5000

Project Title: Preserve and protect wildlife, wetland-floodplain and quality of the human environment.

Project Description: To protect aquatic habitat our immediate goal is to assist in nullifying MDEQ permit #04-73-0047-p, issued for construction and operation of the DMDF, and demand that toxic dredge spoils be disposed of safely, outside of wetlands/floodplain, in a licensed facility designed to contain them and isolate them from the watershed. The present scope of our work is focused on the following: education and preparation of CATS members who will appear as witnesses, file an E.I.S. lawsuit in Federal Court, increase advocacy through media campaign, internal organizational capacity building.



Mona Lake Watershed Council

Amount: $1420

Project Title: Water quality monitoring to justify a flow-through marsh project

Project Description: The Mona Lake Watershed Council is 501(c)(3) that received a Clean Water Act 604(b) grant from MDEQ in October 2004 to develop a watershed management plan for the Mona Lake Watershed. After the first year of outreach efforts and field inventory work, the Council has identified potential Best Management Practices (BMPs) to be recommended in the watershed management plan for implementation. Most BMP recommendations are currently based on observational data and sedimentation build-up in Black Creek. We need monitoring data to verify that Total Suspended Solids, Fecal Coliform, Nitrate, and Total Phosphorus concentrations are in fact an issue in the upper watershed.




Anishinaabe Niiji

Amount: $2500

Project Title: Protecting our Wild Endangered Rice (P.O.W.E.R.) Sharing Circles

Project Description: Native American natural foods, pure water resources and way of life are endangered by population encroachment and industrial civilization pressures. Global warming and other impacts from energy policies further threaten Native Peoples homelands. “POWER” circles will draw together tribal elders, tribal youth and native-non-native activists to remember “old ways” that will sustain the future generations and strengthen alliances.

NIIJII, working together with the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Community College and tribally owned radio station, WOJB, will bring together “community circles” to share wild rice and ideas for creating sustainable communities that protect the wild habitat from which our life springs.



Friends of the Coves Subwatershed Inc.

Amount: $2000

Project Title: Community Aquatic Rehabilitation Project

Project Description: The Coves Subwatershed is named after a series of oxbow ponds that was once a former meander of the Thames River.  The Coves are now an Environmentally Significant Area that is almost entirely privately owned.  The best way we can ensure its protection and rehabilitation is by engaging residents, businesses, agencies, and government as stewards of the Coves Subwatershed.

Invasive species are a leading cause of biodiversity loss, second only to habitat loss” (Environment Canada, 2005).  Non-native invasive carp have established in the Coves.  In order to limit their detrimental impact on the Coves ecology, the FOTCSI will develop messaging to inform and to garner broad community support for a carp control program.  We will develop sound technical information so that our proposal will be credible, feasible and achievable when presented to government, agencies and the community.



Highway J Citizens Group

Amount: $3000

Project Title: Grassroots initiative to stop an environmentally-destructive road expansion project in Wisconsin

Project Description: This project is three parts: organizational capacity building, influencing permit decisions, and legal proceedings. In terms of organizational capacity building, we will be organizing many concerned citizens living in the affected communities along Highway 164 and surrounding areas to support our grassroots activities. In terms of influencing permit decisions, we’ll be trying to convince the federal courts to overturn the WisDOT’s Wetland-filling permits along Highway 164 in WaukeshaCounty. In terms of legal proceedings, we’ll be pursuing federal lawsuits against the WisDOT and other government agencies to stop the Highway 164 four-lane expansion and taking legal action against the parties responsible for the groundwater contamination problems in the Ackerville area.



Pesticide Free Ontario

Amount: $2800

Project Title: Lawn Care That Won’t Cost the Earth

Project Description: Lawn Care That Won’t Cost the Earth is a media communication project.  Pesticide Free Ontario will produce a series of five articles outlining the environmental and health problems associated with conventional lawn care practices and methods and describing alternatives to them. The articles, which will educate property owners and increase the profile of local groups working to reduce non-essential pesticides, will be distributed to community newspapers along the Ontario side of Lakes Erie and Ontario.



Cayuga Lake Watershed Network

Amount: $1750

Project Title: Strategic Communications and Fundraisng Capacity Building for Watershed Protection

Project Description: The Cayuga Lake Watershed Network seeks to increase its capacity to inspire stewardship of water resources by using the suggestions outlined in the Great Lakes Toolbox to systematically review and improve its strategic communications. This includes reviewing and crafting materials used to increase volunteer involvement, target key audiences and approach funders in order to diversify the financial base.  This process would include working with the Board of Directors and Committees to review and implementation the 10-year Strategic Plan and newly developed long-range financial plan.



Save Lighthouse Point

Amount: $4000

Project Title: Building Save Lighthouse Point: Organization to Protect Two Harbor's Waterfront

Project Description: Over the next year we plan to: identify and build an organizational structure that can sustain environmental work in Two Harbors, develop and implement a fundraising plan to raise the funds to purchase Lighthouse Point as well as sustain on-going legal support for the protection of the Point.




Citizens Concerned For Michipicoten Bay

Amount: $5000

Project Title: Utilizing the OMB process to protect coastal habitat on Lake Superior

Project Description: A proposed quarry at Michipicoten Bay, within a globally significant section of wild Lake Superior  shoreline, has been given the green light by the Township of Michipicoten, despite a zoning by-law which disallows the quarry operation as proposed.  Citizens Concerned for Michipicoten Bay has forced the Township to amend the by-law to legally permit the quarry operation, so that CCMB may then appeal that amendment to the Ontario Municipal Board, thus earning the right to a hearing by this independent tribunal, where evidence of the potentially devastating environmental impacts of the operation may be presented.



Harbor Friends

Amount: $3500

Project Title: Develop grassroots community involvement in protecting the Grand Marais Harbor

Project Description: The Minnesota DNR, a bare majority of the city council, and development interests want to build a full service marina under the state’s “Safe Harbor” program in the Grand Marais harbor. This would impound a wave washed beach that is a major birding site and further impair the water quality of a harbor that is already compromised. Harbor Friends has determined that the majority of citizens want to protect the harbor from this development and is seeking to organize them into an effective force to oppose this project in order to secure a long term.



Friends of the Crooked River

Amount: $3500

Project Title: Green Energy? Brown Valley!! Save the Cuyahoga River from Hydro Proposal.

Project Description: Metro Hydroelectric Company, LLC, has applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a license to reestablish hydro operations at the 57 foot dam on the Cuyahoga River at Gorge Metro Park.  Due to loss of habitat and other environmental and cultural concerns, many organizations and agencies oppose this project.  Friends of the Crooked River (FOCR) will create partnerships, implement a communication’s strategy, and coordinate efforts to influence local public policy in order to defeat this license.   In the process, FOCR will use the opportunity to build membership and recruit volunteers for its other campaigns, including monitoring sewer overflows, preserving wetlands and opposing hydromodification.



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Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.