Ecosystem Health and Sustainable Fish Populations: Social, Economic, and Technology Research to Inform Policy and Practice

Great Lakes Fisheries Trust

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Grant amount: Up to US $300,000

Next anticipated deadline: Jan 22, 2020 2:00pm PST (Pre proposal)

Later anticipated deadlines: Apr 15, 2020 2:00pm PDT (Full proposal)

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit College / University Indigenous Group

Funding uses: Research

Location of project: Canada, Michigan, Lake County, Illinois, Counties in Indiana: Adams County, Allen County Show all

Location of residency: Canada, United States

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About this funder:



The Great Lakes Fishery Trust (GLFT) invites preliminary proposals for Great Lakes fisheries projects under its Ecosystem Health and Sustainable Fish Populations focus area. This RFP process will be used for the disbursement of up to $1.2 million in grants in 2016 in two grant categories: (1) Ecological and Biological Fisheries Research to Inform Management, and (2) Social, Economic, and Technology Research to Inform Policy and Practice.

While the GLFT’s core historical investments in research and information have emphasized ecological and biological fisheries research targeted to fishery management agencies, fishery issues also have social and economic components and operate in social and economic contexts. This is particularly apparent with regard to invasive species, which continue to alter the Great Lakes ecosystem profoundly.

Mission and Goals

The mission of the GLFT is to provide funding to enhance, protect, and rehabilitate Great Lakes fishery resources to compensate for lost use and enjoyment caused by the operation of the Ludington Pumped Storage Plant. The GLFT pursues these goals through investments in three broad categories: access to the Great Lakes fishery, Great Lakes stewardship, and ecosystem health and sustainable fish populations.

Fisheries research is one element of the GLFT’s healthy ecosystems and sustainable fish populations funding stream. The broad goals of these investments are to:

  • Create a more resilient and stable fish community
  • Increase the sustainable value of the fishery to stakeholders
  • Preserve self-sustaining fish populations

Specifically, the key intended outcomes for fisheries research investments are to:

  • Enhance the ability of managers/agencies to respond to changes in the fishery and ecosystem
  • Build research capacity and management expertise needed to understand and manage the Great Lakes ecosystem for sustainable production of valuable species
  • Reduce the cost of fishery management in relation to benefits provided

Focus Areas of the GLFT

The GLFT pursues its fisheries research efforts through competitive grantmaking within established focus areas.

Aquatic Invasive Species

The GLFT’s primary interests in this category are in innovative research, development, or analysis leading to prevention of the introduction of invasive species in the Great Lakes, or the control or suppression of established species. Supported projects may include:

  • Research, development, and evaluation of innovative new technologies to curtail new introductions through established vectors (e.g., ballast water), or to control established invasive species
  • Explorations of strategies to encourage compliance with, and effective implementation of, those prevention and suppression strategies with a compliance element
  • Workshops, conferences, data-sharing efforts, and other relevant capacity-building activities related to the theme 

Socioeconomics of the Fishery

The GLFT’s primary interests in this category are in efforts that:

  • Document the economic (such as tourism, commercial fishing, etc.), environmental, and/or social/recreational/subsistence value offered by various elements of the fishery
  • Explore social and economic factors that affect capacity to respond to aquatic invasive species (e.g., social/policy research on current shipping practices or regulations)
  • Examine the costs of aquatic invasive species

Dissemination of information generated through GLFT investment in social, economic, and technology efforts is critical to these undertakings and will be proactively managed and supported by the GLFT to ensure intended audiences are connected to relevant information.

The GLFT believes in the importance of sharing project information in forms that are accessible, understandable, and digestible by key audiences.

Key Outcomes

The key intended outcomes for the GLFT’s investments in social, economic, and technology research are to:

  • Build awareness and understanding of the impacts and costs of invasive species
  • Leverage new resources to combat invasive species and support the fishery
  • Build knowledge and capacity for the suppression of existing invasive species and prevention of new introductions
  • Understand the social, economic, and recreational values provided by the fishery

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Proposals are encouraged from educational, governmental, tribal, and nonprofit institutions with a 501(c)(3) designation from the IRS.
  • Canadian public and nonprofit organizations also may be eligible, but should contact GLFT staff prior to submitting a preliminary proposal.
  • All GLFT-funded projects must have benefits directed primarily to the Great Lakes.
  • Projects outside of the Lake Michigan basin are considered if their results and outcomes are transferable to Lake Michigan


  • Socioeconomics of the fishery: 
    • Particular priority will be placed on efforts that focus on current issues, values, and challenges and are germane to audiences including policymakers, environmental and conservation groups, and commercial interests.
    • Management of invasive species is a priority for public agencies at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as private and nonprofit organizations throughout the Great Lakes  region.
    • The GLFT places particular value on invasive species efforts that consider, and engage thoughtfully with, the existing and emerging plans and goals of the several Great Lakes states, federal agencies involved in Great Lakes fisheries, local and regional authorities, and/or environmental collaboratives and partnerships.


  • The GLFT believes strongly in the importance of scientific merit when selecting projects for funding.
    • Social and economic research efforts that fail to employ rigorous, valid, and reliable methodology, or to build on existing knowledge, will not be supported, regardless of the quality of fit between the proposed research and Great Lakes information needs.
  • Aquatic Invasive Species: The GLFT does not fund primary eradication of invasive plant species such as phragmites.