MGLP seeking applications for 2021 Lake Conservation Grant

The Midwest Glacial Lakes Partnership (MGLP) is announcing its annual request for fish habitat conservation project proposals. We support 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 all aspects of the chemical, physical, and biological components of lakes and their watersheds. We direct funding toward a wide range of aquatic conservation projects that benefit habitat for a wide range of fish species in glacial lakes. We typically fund 3-5 projects annually between $10,000 and $75,000, but larger projects will be considered for funding up to a maximum of the approximately $300,000. Past projects have been successfully implemented because the combined contributions and capabilities of many partners accomplished project goals that none of the partnering entities could accomplish on their own. If possible, projects should align with a lake management plan or the MGLP Conservation Guidelines for the lake. MGLP Conservation Guidelines for each lake can be found on the MGLP Conservation Planner.

Examples of past MGLP projects that have restored natural shorelines (left; photo by Mark Keiser), removed fish passage barriers (center; Joe Nohner), and assessed nutrient loading in the watershed (right; Jerry Sweeten).

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.

Applications are due by October 16, 2020, and all applicants are required to discuss the project with MGLP Coordinator Joe Nohner prior to submission for preliminary feedback on project fit for the grant and areas for improvement.

Organizations eligible to apply include state and federal management agencies, non-governmental organizations, municipalities, universities, schools, private landowners, and local and tribal governments. A partial list of ineligible costs includes purchasing or leasing land, actions required by regulations, research studies (as opposed to habitat assessments), long term monitoring, and incentive payments. A full list of eligibility and requirements can be found on the request for proposals.

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, which includes a narrative proposal and a budget. If you have any questions, please contact Joe Nohner at 517-284-6236 or Todd Tisler, MGLP Steering Committee Chair, at or 907-617-2945. A link to the application for funding is included with this announcement, and you can submit your application by emailing it to MGLP Coordinator Joe Nohner at