Wisconsin Lakes

We Speak for Lakes

WI Lakes

Grant Opportunity for Lake Conservation

Midwest Glacial Lakes Partnership announces 2023 Lake Conservation Grant Program

By WI Lakes staff, adapted from MGLP news release

The Midwest Glacial Lakes Partnership recently announced a request for project proposals for funding from the MGLP 2023 Lake Conservation Grant program. The MGLP is one of twenty partnerships that span the nation under the umbrella of the National Fish Habitat Partnership (NFHP). Its area of focus is glacial lakes and their watersheds in the upper Midwest. Nine Midwestern states, federal agencies including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), U.S. Geological Survey, and the U.S. Forest Service, tribal partners, and private natural resource entities including The Nature Conservancy, have been integral partners in the development and operation of the MGLP.

Graphic courtesy MGLP

The Partnership supports conservation projects that work toward meeting the goals and objectives set forth in the MGLP Strategic Plan to benefit glacial lake fish habitats, which include addressing the chemical, physical, and biological components of the habitats that fishes found in glacial lakes use throughout their lives. Funding has been directed toward a wide range of aquatic conservation projects that benefit imperiled, endangered, and recreational fish species and their habitats. Funding is typically provided to 3-5 projects annually with budgets between $30,000 and $100,000, but larger projects will be considered, with a maximum of approximately $360,000 expected for distribution. Projects have been successfully implemented because contributions and capabilities of many partners have been combined to accomplish project goals that none of the partnering entities could accomplish on their own.

Projects considered for funding must align with the goals and objectives of the MGLP and can range in scale from projects that affect one or more sites, lakes, or watersheds. Projects should address the processes that cause fish habitat impairments as opposed to managing or treating the symptoms of those causes. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • projects that implement or demonstrate new approaches;
  • watershed-level nutrient control projects;
  • water quality and erosion control measures;
  • native vegetation or wetland rehabilitation;
  • natural riparian or in-lake habitat restoration and protection;
  • barrier removal for improved native fish passage;
  • fish population or watershed assessments needed for project evaluation;
  • habitat assessment, prioritization and planning for future habitat projects;
  • evaluating current and future habitat conditions;
  • projects addressing climate change adaptation or mitigation through fish habitat;
  • projects training biologists and managers on inland lake fish habitat management tools and approaches; and
  • community outreach and education on the importance of and how to better conserve glacial lake fish habitat.

In addition to conducting independent outreach and/or education, successful applicants will be expected to work with the MGLP to coordinate media and public outreach to raise the profile of MGLP-funded projects.

If you have a lake conservation project aligned with the goals and objectives of the MGLP and need financial assistance, we encourage you to submit a proposal for project funding. If you have any questions, please contact Joe Nohner at or 517-284-6236 or Gary Whelan, MGLP Steering Chair, at . Applications for funding are available at the Lake Conservation Grant website. Applications are due on February 18, 2022, and you can submit your application by emailing it to MGLP Coordinator Joe Nohner at .