The Midwest Glacial Lakes Partnership (MGLP) is announcing its annual request for fish habitat conservation project proposals. With the passage of the America’s Conservation Act, which funds our Lake Conservation Grant through the National Fish Habitat Partnership, there are new timelines and slight modifications to our request for 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 expected for distribution. 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.

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.

Importantly, with the signing of the America’s Conservation Enhancement Act in 2020, there are new requirements in the Lake Conservation Grant application. The major change to the grant is that while the partnership prefers to maximize match in general, grant funds must be matched with at least 1:1 with nonfederal funds. Nonfederal match can include cash and/or in-kind labor, materials, equipment if there are no federal ties to those funds. State agency funds can be used for the nonfederal match if labor and/or materials are not being charged to another federal grant. State agency funds that are used to match other federal grants would not be eligible as match. Once the grant funds are matched with nonfederal funds/in-kind, an unlimited amount of federal contributions to the project are allowed. Additionally, all projects must include an outreach or education component that includes the local or regional community and projects that create or improve fishing access are desirable.

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 May 7, 2021, 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 Gary Whelan, MGLP Steering Committee Chair, at 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