2013 Spring Project Grants

2013 Spring Project Grants

Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition

Grant Amount: $1250

Project Title: Lake Simcoe Greenlands project: increasing forest and wetland cover in Oro-Medonte

Project Description: The RLSC will prepare maps that show significant woodlands, wetlands, streams and rivers, and rural settlement areas. The information is available from governments, and funds will help hire a cartographer to add layers to the map to paint the picture of what is now protected, versus what we are trying to achieve. RLSC will also prepare, print and present educational material and maps to educate people about the value and opportunity to protect more green space in Oro-Medonte, as part of the overall goal to increase forest and wetland protection in the Lake Simcoe watershed and to improve the environmental health of the lake and area.


Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice

Grant Amount: $3500

Project Title: Protecting the Natural Resources of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula from Public Corruption

Project Description: Attorney Jana Mathieu, via the Sugar Law Center, will do work related to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit (FOIA) against the Northern Michigan Geologic Repository Association (“NMGRA”). This suit seeks information that is directly related to the DEQ’s regulation of Rio Tinto’s Eagle mine, which is located in the Yellow Dog Watershed.



Grant Amount: $2500

Project Title: Largest TCE Plum in the Nation: Community Engagement

Project Description: ACUTE will re-activate their proven community engagement model to empower community stakeholders regarding a large groundwater plume of trichloroethylene (TCE) and to build a consensus to address it.   The plume is roughly 13 trillion gallons, one of the largest in the U.S.  ACUTE will again engage community stakeholders and involve Freshwater Future, Michigan Technological University, the University of Detroit-Mercy, Dow Chemical Co., community organizations, homeowners, local government, private citizens, advocacy groups and regulatory authorities.


Kalamazoo River Cleanup Coalition

Grant Amount: $1500

Project Title: Paper City PCBs

Project Description: KRCC will convene several public meetings in the few months prior to the EPA issuing a Record of Decision (proposed for Sept. 2013) in order to advocate for the total PCB removal option at the Allied site. They will use the Freshwater Future Project Grant funds to pay for renting meeting venues, printing, postage, advertising and promotional materials advocating for the total removal option, and increasing public awareness of the PCB cleanup issue.



Grant Amount: $3500

Project Title: Sulfide Mining Civic Advocacy

Project Description: WaterLegacy will conduct technical analysis and citizen engagement in preparation for and at the time of the release of a key environmental review document — the supplemental draft environmental impact statement (SDEIS) —  for Minnesota’s first proposed copper-nickel sulfide mine. The PolyMet NorthMet SDEIS, along with thousands of pages of documents, is expected to be released during the summer of 2013. Rigorous analysis of these documents and large-scale mobilization and coaching of citizens to comment and testify about this new proposal are critical to protecting Minnesota clean water from the proposed PolyMet open pit sulfide mine, waste rock piles, and tailings dumps.  WaterLegacy will work in collaboration with tribes and environmental allies and combine 1) legal and scientific analysis of key PolyMet technical documents, 2) grassroots organizing to mobilize citizens concerned about protecting clean water from sulfide mining and 3) coaching, mentoring, and engagement of citizens, particularly Northeastern Minnesota citizens, to increase their effective self-advocacy to prevent impacts of sulfide mining on lakes, streams, rivers, and drinking water in the St. Louis River watershed and Lake Superior Basin.


Native American Educational Technologies (NAET)

Grant Amount: $3500

Project Title: Expanding the Indigenous Voice Advocating for Our Mother Earth

Project Description: Native American Educational Technologies, Inc. will inform, educate and activate decision-makers locally and statewide through advocacy journalism by providing live TV and Internet broadcasts to help stop the sulfide mine and anticipated racial backlash, while protecting the aquatic habitat that is central to the continued existence of the Chippewa Tribe and our non-Native neighbors. Native volunteers will use professional recording equipment to crisscross the entire state, from the State Capitol in Madison to Lake Superior, to provide an alternative source of information regarding the mine.


Leelanau Forum

Grant Amount: $1500

Project Title: Northport Waste Water Treatment Plant Groundwater Discharge Challenge

Project Description: The Leelanau Forum will retain a hydrologist with expertise in groundwater analysis and modeling to provide additional analysis and expert testimony based on the groundwater testing results to advance their advocacy goals regarding their concerns over construction of a wastewater treatment project that alleged pollution to the groundwater, the adjacent Northport Creek, Millpond and Grand Traverse Bay that will likely occur from the discharge of wastewater volume into the ground via rapid infiltration basins.


Rogue River Watershed Council

Grant Amount: $350

Project Title: Citizen outreach through mailing

Project Description: Grant funds will cover printing and mailing 400 postcards with survey information to property owners.



Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve

Grant Amount: $500

Project Title: Travel assistace

Project Description: Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve requests funds to help cover costs to attend the Great Lakes Sulfide Mining Summit in Chicago at the end of February 2013.


Save the Wild UP

Grant Amount: $500

Project Title: Advocacy through reaching mailing list

Project Description: Save the Wild UP recently added to their contact list through advocacy efforts. In order to reach their members, and continue to communicate, they asked for assistance to help expand their mailing budget.


TC 350

Grant Amount: $750

Project Title: Support for Oil & Water Don’t Mix: A Rally for the Great Lakes

Project Description: TC350 is hosting an event in St Ignace, MI featuring Bill McKibben. Costs involve fees and insurance to use the venue, beyond the capapcity of TC350.


Center for Biological Diversity

Grant Amount: $5000

Project Title: Assistance in Defense of the Clean Water Act

Project Description: Funds through this grant are granted to Center for Biological Diversity to support Laura Gauger’s work and to help pay for legal expenses in defense of the Clean Water Act, related to the Ladysmith, WI mine.



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