About the HOW Implementation Program

In 2009, President Obama and the U.S. Congress approved and funded precedent-setting legislation to restore the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) invested $475 million in 2010 to restore habitat, clean up toxic sediments, reduce non-point source pollution and prevent and control invasive species.

The Healing Our Waters – Great Lakes Coalition implementation program serves to ensure that local groups are prepared to efficiently manage projects under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and that the funding provided by the initiative results in effective projects on the ground.

Priority Areas

The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition has identified one area in each of the Great Lakes as a priority for restoration work. These areas were selected by coalition staff and a panel of outside science advisors based on their status as some of the most impaired zones in the Great Lakes region with the highest potential for restoration.

These five areas are prime recipients for coalition grants that will help to improve ecosystems, create jobs, and support public health.

The five priority areas are:

  • St. Louis Bay (Lake Superior)
  • Chicagoland (Lake Michigan)
  • Saginaw Bay (Lake Huron)
  • Western Lake Erie
  • Eastern Lake Ontario

Healing Our Waters Grants

Community based organizations which have received or will be applying for funding under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative or other federal funding programs are eligible for a Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition grant. Preference will be give to groups planning restoration projects within one of the five priority areas. These grants, of up to $15,000 per project, are designed to help in the development and implementation of Great Lakes Restoration proposals or projects.

Community-based organizations which have received or will be applying for Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding and plan to carry out projects aimed at protecting aquatic habitats in one of the five priority areas are eligible for a Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition grant. Current award recipients include projects to control invasive species, reduce nonpoint source pollution, and improve conditions for public health, among others.

Climate Readiness

Climate adaptation is expected to become a critical piece of successful grant proposals –Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition grants can help you to incorporate adaptation strategies into your restoration project. Climate ready planning both anticipates future ecosystem changes due to climate change and offers mechanisms to support ecosystem resilience, and protect natural and human systems.

Funding Opportunities

A compiled list of current funding opportunities for Great Lakes related projects, including opportunities under the GLRI.

Additional Resources

In addition to funding, the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition and Freshwater Future provide additional resources to assist you with your application under the Coalition RFP.

The coalition also provides tools to groups to help them navigate the federal RFP process.

For questions or more information about the HOW Implementation program contact Jennifer Hill, coaltion field director, at hillj@nwf.org.

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