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New York State Great Lakes Protection Fund

What is the Great Lakes Protection Fund?

The New York State Great Lakes Protection Fund is a funding source for research projects that protect, restore and improve the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem in New York. The Fund was created in 1990 by legislation that allows New York to use a portion of the earned interest on an endowment created by seven of the eight Great Lakes states (see link in right column of this page under "Links Leaving DEC's website").

The Fund supports projects between government, academia, non-governmental and environmental groups to conduct research and exchange/apply information about remediating and sustaining the health of the plant, animal, and human elements of New York's Great Lakes ecosystem. Specifically, the Fund is used to support the following areas:

  • Researching the economic, environmental and human health effects of contamination in the Great Lakes
  • Collecting and analyzing data on the Great Lakes
  • Developing new and improved environmental cleanup technologies applicable to the Great Lakes
  • Researching the effectiveness of pollution-control policies affecting the Great Lakes
  • Assessing the health of Great Lakes fish, wildlife, waterfowl and other organisms

Who Administers the Great Lakes Protection Fund?

The Fund is administered by DEC with input from the New York State Great Lakes Basin Advisory Council (the Council). Comprised of representatives from various interests, the Council works with DEC to ensure ecological health, economic growth, and recreational enjoyment of New York's Great Lakes resources now and in the future. Each year, DEC and the Council determine the funding priorities for research and assessment projects through two grant programs.

What Grants are Available?

Two types of grants are awarded from the Fund: "Small" and "Large" grants.

Small Grants Program

The Small Grants Program is not currently accepting proposals. The most recent Request for Proposals closed on February 10, 2014. More information is available on the Great Lakes Research Consortium's website (a direct link is in the "Links Leaving DEC's Website" section of the right-hand column of this page).

DEC, the Council, and the Great Lakes Research Consortium (the State University of New York established the Great Lakes Research Consortium to bring together scientific, technical and policy expertise to improve understanding of the Great Lakes ecosystem) established the Small Grants Program to provide seed money for projects in the Great Lakes basin.

These small grant awards may be used to independently carry out small scale projects or can be used to start projects with plans to seek additional funding from larger programs such as the National Science Foundation or the Great Lakes Protection Fund. This unique program is intended to promote collaborative efforts between government, academia, industry and environmental groups to develop pollution prevention, remedial action and environmental education projects as well as scientific research and data collection. The small grants award process is administered by the Great Lakes Research Consortium.

Large Grants Program

The Large Grants Program is suspended indefinitely. DEC will make an announcement when a new round of large grants is available.

Previous projects have ranged from aquatic nuisance species research, to enhancing community awareness of Great Lakes issues, human health risk communication, and improved remedial monitoring techniques and technologies.

New York Great Lakes Protection Fund Large Grants:

What Criteria Must Projects Meet?

Projects must satisfy all of the following criteria, and must demonstrate reasonableness of cost:

  • Focus on management issues directly relevant to existing or emerging policy and programs (e.g. the Toxics Substances Control Agreement, Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, Great Lakes Charter and Annex 2001 Agreements, Niagara River Toxics Management Plan, Remedial Action Plans, Lakewide Action and Management Plans, Strategic Great Lakes Fisheries Management Plan, the New York State 25-Year Plan for the Great Lakes or the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Restoration and Protection Strategy, 2005)
  • Foster communication and cooperative action among research, academic, industrial, private, regional/local organizations and governmental and non-governmental entities within New York State, especially in New York's Great Lakes basin
  • Provide basic or applied research information to support measurable progress toward improving the environmental quality and reducing exposure to pollution affecting humans, Great Lakes fish, waterfowl and other water-dependent organisms
  • Promote interdisciplinary approaches to understanding New York's Great Lakes ecosystem and to applying ecosystem-based approaches to improving the resources
  • Demonstrate sound scientific principles in experimental project design, including high validity and reliability of measurements and/or peer review
  • Provide results and deliverables that can be made easily available to either a targeted user group or to the broader community of Great Lakes managers, researchers and the public

More about New York State Great Lakes Protection Fund: