2013 Fall Project Grants

2013 Fall Project Grants

Center for Biological Diversity

Grant Amount: $15000

Project Title: Legal Information, Review & Services related to Mining Laws, regulations & activities in MN.

Project Description: Marc Fink, employee of the Center for Biological Diversity will provide legal information, review and services relating to mining laws, regulations and activities in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan as outlined in the grant proposal.  Related information will be shared through appropriate networks, including the Freshwater Future mining collaboration.


Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association

Grant Amount: $2500

Project Title: Pilot Project: Citizen Stream Monitoring

Project Description: Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association will build citizen teams and fund education in sampling and testing techniques on streams with documented concerns, pay for NELAC (National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference) approved testing for analyses of concern and help to mobilize citizen activities for corrective actions.  This monitoring program is intended to identify correctible point sources of this contamination.


Save the Oak Ridges Moraine Coalition

Grant Amount: $2000

Project Title: Mobilizing Citizens to Improve Regulations for Fill Operations and Contaminates Soil

Project Description: Citizens groups dealing with their local soil dumps have recently banded together as the Ontario Soil Regulation Task Force (OSRTF) and, with STORM, have identified seven problem areas in various practices, statutes, regulations, and agencies.  Freshwater Future funding will support 1) STORM�s work with (OSRTF) to create a strategic plan to enable it to mobilize its volunteers to deal with each of the seven problem areas, and 2) Provide advocacy materials, including highlighting the bylaw weaknesses, for citizens to have the necessary tools to educate their municipalities.


Save Our Sky Blue Waters

Grant Amount: $3000

Project Title: Legal Research and Ananlysis of Proposed Permits for NorthMet Mine

Project Description: In collaboration with Save Lake Superior Association, Save Our Sky Blue Waters will utilize funds to pay for legal research, writing and travel to examine proposed permits for PolyMet’s proposed NorthMet mine when they are released for public review, and prepare a high-quality legal analysis and comments to the agencies, advocating for changes to the permits to make them more protective, or for outright denial of the permits.



Bad River Youth Outdoors

Grant Amount: $3000

Project Title: Protect Our Wild Rice (POWR): Tribal youth watershed monitoring, stewardship and advocacy project, summer 2014

Project Description: In the Protect Our Wild Rice (POWR) project, Bad River tribal youth will further their skills, initiated in the BRYO program pilot of 2013, learning to steward and advocate for their waterways and wild rice beds. Field work will be in the Bad River watershed of northern Wisconsin, which is partly on the Bad River reservation and partly in the Ceded Territory of the Lake Superior Ojibwe.  Youth will participate in service learning, help to conduct trainings, and present their findings to their community and to the general public. Policy makers will be a target of this advocacy, to continue efforts to highlight cultural ties to waterscapes and landscapes, and assert Treaty Rights for food and water sovereignty. If BRYO ends programming in the future, any equipment purchased with these funds should go to the Bad River Watershed Association.


Bad River Watershed Association

Grant Amount: $3000

Project Title: Building Outreach and Educational Capacity of the Bad River Watershed Association

Project Description: The Bad River Watershed Association (BRWA) will use funding to expand public knowledge, inside and outside of the basin, of the proposed open pit mine in the watershed headwaters and to promote our advocacy for maintaining high water quality.  The originally proposed events are The Wisconsin Wetlands Association conference, February 18-20, 2014; and Canoecopia, March 7-9, 2014.  However, these events may change per BRWA request, pending approval by the Freshwater Future Project Grant management team.  BRWA will submit a call for papers to present at the events, and set up a booth to attract visitors for conversation.


Highway J Citizens Group

Grant Amount: $2500

Project Title: Grassroots Initiative to Stop an Environmentally-Destructive Road Expansion Project in Wisconsin.

Project Description: Highway J Citizens Group will utilize funds to support their current legal battle regarding WisDOT’s most recent attempts to expand Highway 164, which is antcipated to continue through 2014 and be resolved later that year.  In addition, HJCG will continue working to obtain a complete clean-up of worsening groundwater contamination problems in the Ackerville area caused by two nearby leaking landfills.  These ongoing environmental efforts will include: 1) Publicly persuading the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to make this long-overdue contamination clean-up a top priority, and 2) Taking legal action if the agency appeals do not achieve prompt, positive results.



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