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Grants Awarded by the Foundation


The Foundation has distributed more than $281,000 in grants since 1993 in accordance with the Foundation's Grant Policy. These grants are among those previously made by the Great Lakes Foundation:
  • Silver Islet Harbour Association of Thunder Bay - Silver Islet, Ont. (S-128) is the only harbour between Thunder Bay and Nipigon or Rossport along the north shore of Lake Superior where dockage is in great demand. The Silver Islet Association officially received ownership of the harbour in 2021, and are now developing the harbour. The grand plan is monumental, but for now we are helping them with the purchase of a header-dock, the first phase, to create a slip-dock for transient boaters, along with shore-docking for seasonal boaters, both capable of generating critical operating funds. The Grant request was for $26,500 CAD. Their mission, ”…to support the creation and development of marine infrastructures, which protects our harbours and shorelines…” closely aligns itself with our mission to insure the protection and preservation of all our Great Lakes and their associated waterways. Silver Islet, Ont. (S-128)
  • Noble Odyssey Foundation - Their training vessel, the Pride of Michigan, is an 81’ Navy Dive Vessel, berth in Mount Clemens, Michigan, that provides the laboratory, supporting their mission for, “…cadets to work directly with scientists and other professionals in conducting underwater collection of data and in geological, archeological and natural sciences exploration.” The program teaching Sea Cadets is comprehensive and ultimately prepares them for careers in the Naval service or maritime industry. This training encompasses life aboard, drills, damage control, firefighting, helmsmanship, navigation, communications, and includes introductions to Marine Archaeology and Anthropology. It truly is a “floating college.” The December 2021 grant of $5,000 USD will be used to fund the United States Coast Guard required quinquennial dry-dock recertification survey & inspection of their motor vessel, with much of the exterior preparation being performed by the Sea Cadets themselves. Our CONGRATULATIONS to the Noble Odyssey Foundation for their 50 years of public service, and for their passion to, “explore, study and protect,” our great natural resources. Anchor Bay, Mich. (D-36)
  • Brakewinders - This December 2021 grant was for $5,000 CAD. Brakewinders is a group of dedicated volunteers from Wiarton, Ont., whose mission is to, “…introduce boat building, care & maintenance, boat handling, water safety, & sailing to young deserving adults while promoting a fun environment.” By building their own prams and optimist, they not only teach the craftmanship of boat building, they further advance the culture & art of sailing, while instilling appreciation for our precious natural resources. To help financially perpetuate their own cause, they recycle old sails into Tote-bags, which are sold, and the profits are then reinvested into the program. Part of the approved grant dollars will be used to train and certify First-aid & Advanced-sailing instructors. While a fledging organization, they have had enormous success, producing 4 optimist boats and have restored 3 dinghies in their first year of operation. Wiarton, Ont. (GB-12)
  • Thousand Islands Association - Their main purpose is to supply & maintain recreational navigation buoys throughout the Thousand Islands of the upper St. Lawrence River. Their ambitious goal is to replace all 300 markers over a 5-year time frame, and this is currently year two. The Board felt strong that this worthy project was deserving of a second grant, after approving their initial request last year. Each marker’s replacement cost is approximately $275 CDN, and the grand total for the project is well over $82,000 CAD. These markers not only help keep local boaters, both Canadian & American out of harm’s way, but also help protect the fragile eco-system of the Thousand Islands territorial waters. The December 2021 amount approved was $10,600 USD.  Thousand Islands, Ont. & N.Y. (SLR-00.1)
  • Canadian Lighthouses of Lake Superior - An organization dedicated to the preservation of Canadian lighthouses. However, in this case, the request was for harbor infrastructure needs such as cribbing, mooring balls, boat slips, and a travel lift for visiting tour boats. They actually have four short term restoration projects on two different sites planned. The amount granted in April, 2021 was $6,968 CAD ($5,575 USD). Porphyry Island, Ont. (S-121)
  • Thousand Islands Association - The Thousand Islands Association is responsible for maintaining channel markers in the recreational area of the Thousand Islands. The April, 2021 request for $8,800 was for replacing their aging channel markers over a 5-year replacement time frame. The pandemic has severely hampered their opportunities to seek private donations, and they have turned to us for help. The channel markers provide critical navigation assistance for recreational boaters, Canadian and U.S. alike, traversing the region. Thousand Islands, Ont. & N.Y. (SLR-00.1)
  • Nature Conservancy of Canada - The April, 2021 grant of $20,000 is to be used for a land purchase on Manitoulin Island. It alone encompasses 18,000 acres, and 11 miles of shore and is part of the Vidal Bay Forest (NC-11), thereby creating a 29,800-acre preserve with over 50 miles of shoreline. The Conservancy studied and was acutely aware of the impact of the purchase on the indigenous population of Manitoulin Island. This grant also qualified for matching funds from the North American Wetlands Conservation Act Grant program, shared by both U.S. & Canadian governments, thereby increasing the grand value of our donation to $80,000 USD. Vidal Bay, Ont. (NC-11)
  • Great Lakes Historical Society - Preservation and interpretation of the tug Ohio will enhance public appreciation of the Great Lakes as this tug worked for 112 years on the Great Lakes as a fireboat and as a commercial tug. The GLF donation in April, 2019 of $2,000 goes to cleaning, repair and construction for restoration. Toledo, Ohio (E-21)
  • Rock of Ages Lighthouse Preservation Society – In December of 2018, the Great Lakes Foundation funded the Rock of Ages Lighthouse Clean Water and Sanitation Project with a $10,000 grant. The support allowed them to accomplish a key step in the restoration work at Rock of Ages Lighthouse. (Washington Harbor, Mich. S-163)
  • University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee Foundation - In March 2015, the Great Lakes Foundation contributed to the UWM Foundation to establish a Great Lakes Foundation Fellowship in the School of Freshwater Sciences. Click here to see a brief video greeting from the awardee with a description of her research. (Milwaukee, Wis. M-46)
  • Saginaw Bay Community Sailing Association - The Great Lakes Foundation donated $2,100 for the purchase of a set of sails for the DaySailer 17 sailboats. The SBCSA has been teaching adults and children how to sail in regularly scheduled lessons and also in several community outreach programs. (Bay City, Mich. H-61)
  • Noble Odyssey Foundation - In May 2013, the Great Lakes foundation donated $5,000 to the Noble Odyssey Foundation for the Research/Training Vessel, Pride of Michigan. In May 2017, the Great Lakes Foundation donated $5,000 to help replace the inflatable, which functions as the support vessel for their many dives into the Great Lakes to help train the sea cadets. (Anchor Bay, Mich. D-36)
  • Grand Valley State University (GVSU) - In February of 2013 the Great Lakes Foundation (GLF) funded a grant of $2,500 to Grand Valley State University (GVSU) to help fund the construction of a $3,400,000 new field station at Muskegon, Mich. The field station is part of GVSU’s Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute, which, over the last 25 years, has been conducting research to identify critical problems and find science-based solutions to protect and preserve the Great Lakes. The new facility will allow research to be conducted year-round. (Muskegon, Mich. M-22)
  • Grand Marais Harbor received $10,000 for the Grand Marais Harbor Breakwater Project in July of 2012. ​The Grand Marais, Michigan, has the only deep water Federally designated harbor of refuge along a treacherous 90-mile coastline of the south shore of Lake Superior between the Whitefish Point and Munising, Michigan. Prior to the completion of the new breakwater, the harbor was in danger of filling up with sand. (Grand Marais, Mich. S-220)
  • St. Joseph River Dredging Project has received a check for $1,000 from the Great Lakes Foundation via Cornerstone Alliance for the dredging project that was approved on the 5th of May, 2012. (St. Joseph & Benton Harbor, Mich. M-27)
  • Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates - "The Thomas Hume Returns Home" project in collaboration with the Lakeshore Museum Center in Muskegon, Michigan for an exhibit, a documentary film and a public program in October 2010. (Holland Harbor & Lake Macatawa, Mich. M-24)
  • Toronto Brigantine Inc. for $5,000 towards life raft maintenance and Officer safety training in 2010. (Toronto Harbour, Ont. O-45)
  • Maritime Fund of St. Clair County - Matching funds raised at 2008 Dedication & Lake Huron Rally (Port Huron, Mich. D-1)
  • Paul Frederick Memorial Fellowship (for grants to the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee), the Center for Great Lakes Study and the Great Lakes Water Institute, all for research, education and outreach for understanding the Great Lakes and waterways in the Great Lakes Basin. (Milwaukee, Wis. M-46)
  • Sandusky (Ohio) Area Maritime Association, to assist the purchasing of real estate for a maritime museum. (Sandusky, Ohio E-16)
  • Manitoulin Health Centre (Little Current, Ont. NC-17)
  • Chicago Maritime Society (Chicago, Ill. M-36)
  • Little Current Howland Centennial Museum (Little Current, Ont. NC-17)
  • Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute-Northland (Courage Center) in Duluth, Minn., for its adaptive sailing program. (Duluth & Superior, Minn. S-187)
  • Leland Harbor Dredging Project to maintain dredging of harbor. (Leland, Mich. M-14)
  • Sturgeon Bay Sail Training Foundation (Sturgeon Bay, Mich. M-72.5)
  • Door County Maritine Museum & Lighthouse Preservation Society (Sturgeon Bay, Mich. M-72.5)