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Great Lakes Funding

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Great Lakes Project Funding Sources

Funding may be available for your project. Many local, state, and federal agencies offer funding to community organizations, neighborhood groups, homeowners, and others. Navigating the funding process is not easy. Here are some resources to get you started. When speaking with representatives from one funding source or non-profit organization, make sure to ask for other recommendations and potential funding sources. Network!

Federal Government Grants

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funds projects in the Great Lakes that restore Areas of Concern, combat invasive species, address nonpoint source pollution, and restore habitat and fish and wildlife species.

NOAA’s Great Lakes Habitat Restoration Regional Partnership Grants will establish new regional habitat restoration partnerships and will provide funding for restoration activities in the Great Lakes.

NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management has multiple funding opportunities for coastal restoration and resilience.

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Program administers grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts.

US EPA’s Environmental Education Grants Program provides funding to support environmental education projects that promote environmental awareness and stewardship and help provide people with the skills to take responsible actions to protect the environment.

US EPA’s Environmental Justice Small Grants Program—The Environmental Justice Small Grants Program supports and empowers communities working on solutions to local environmental and public health issues. The program is designed to help communities understand and address exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks. Environmental Justice Small Grants fund projects up to $30,000, depending on the availability of funds in a given year.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Great Lakes Coastal Program provides funding and technical assistance to partners for conservation and restoration.

US Fish and Wildlife Service offers many grants for coastal restoration projects.

Grants.gov is a searchable database of federal grant opportunities. It also provides information on how to apply for grants and the grant-making process.

Call your Congressional Representatives and Senators to ask about federal funding.

State Government Grants & Funding

Each of the states involved in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has offices to manage and coordinate restoration efforts in their states. These programs sometimes have grant dollars.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a list of health and environmental agencies in every state. You may find grant opportunities by searching the websites of your state agencies.

Ask your governor’s office about state agency grant funding.

Local Government Grants & Funding

Some local governments have funding programs for community-based environmental projects.

How to find your local government

To find your local, state, or tribal governments, type the following into a search engine: your state/county and then the type of agency you are wanting to connect with (e.g., local government, tribal representative, state government). For example, search for “Alabama beach restoration permitting” or “New Jersey environmental protection.” Also try using terms that relate to your concern or solution. For example, “Florida coastal flooding help.”  Try different terms, or combinations of terms, such as “grants, restoration, invasive species, marsh, natural resources, volunteers, funding, etc.” It may take a few tries to find the site and information you are looking for.

To find a specific local county office, type the following into a search engine: your local county or city and then the department you are wanting to connect with (e.g., environmental, planning, natural resources). For example, search for  “Escambia County coastal management” or  “Destin FL natural resources.”

Conservation Districts  work directly with landowners to conserve and promote healthy soils, water, forests, and wildlife.

Extension Offices work closely with university-based Extension specialists to deliver answers to your questions about gardening, agriculture, and pest control.

Foundations and Other Private Sources

Foundation Directory Online, from the Foundation Center, lists 140,000 foundations and other donors worldwide. Some basic information is free; more requires a subscription. Get access at your local library.

NOZAsearch has a large searchable database of charitable donations. Searches for foundation are free. Individual and corporate philanthropy searches require a subscription. Get access at your local library.

Contact local banks, businesses, and community foundations. Many have money budgeted for community service.

Consider crowdfunding through social media, individual donations from members of your organization, or a special event.

NFWF Coastal Resilience Fund: In conjunction with the National Coastal Resilience Fund, the Emergency Coastal Resilience Fund increases the resilience of coastal communities impacted by hurricanes Florence and Michael, Typhoon Yutu, and wildfires in 2018 to help expedite the recovery of those coastal communities.

How to write a successful funding proposal

Grantspace, a service of Foundation Center, offers in-person and online classes on finding and writing grants, a knowledge base, examples of winning proposals and other documents, and more.

The Grantsmanship Center offers training and resources to help find grants and write effective grant proposals.

Classes. Many community colleges and universities offer classes on grant writing. Check the catalogs and academic schedules for your local schools.

Books. There are many books on grant writing. Check out your local library to see what might be available.

Great Lakes Project Resources: