Lake Erie Protection Fund: State LEPF Grants

Ohio Lake Erie Commission

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Grant amount: Up to US $50,000

Deadline: May 1, 2020

Fields of work: Habitat & Ecosystem Restoration Ecology Limnology Fisheries Freshwater Conservation Water Resource Management

Applicant type: Nonprofit, Government Entity

Funding uses: Research, Project / Program

Location of project: Counties in Ohio: Allen County, Ashland County, Ashtabula County, Auglaize County, Crawford County Show all

Location of residency: Ohio

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Lake Erie Protection Fund

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission administers Ohio’s Lake Erie Protection Fund, which was established to finance research and on-the-ground projects aimed at protecting, preserving and restoring Lake Erie and its watershed. Projects focus on critical issues facing Lake Erie, including: nutrient reduction, beneficial use of dredged material, water quality protection, fisheries management, wetlands restoration, watershed planning, invasive species, algal bloom research, Lake Erie ecological shifts, and environmental measurements. 

The Fund is supported through tax-deductible donation online via PayPal, by check, or through purchase of a Lake Erie license plate featuring the Marblehead Lighthouse, Toledo Harbor Lighthouse, or Lake Erie life preserver. More than $12 million has been distributed to over 365 projects since 1993. 

State LEPF Grants

State LEPF Grants will be available in the state fiscal year 2020 (July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020). Projects must assist with the implementation of the Lake Erie Protection and Restoration Plan 2016. Grants will be available up to $50,000. 

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


  • Government and non-profit entities are eligible to apply for funding through the LEPF.
  • Applicants must have a federal tax identification number to apply.
  • Applicants must be based in Ohio, although work may be contracted with outside entities as necessary.
  • Purchase of equipment must be essential to the project for funding to be approved.
    • Any request for permanent equipment must include an explanation of custody usage for the life of the equipment beyond the scope of the project.
    • Permanent equipment purchased through a grant will normally revert back to the Ohio Lake Erie Commission upon completion of the grant project unless grantee can demonstrate the need for the permanent equipment and ensure its continued safe custody and maintenance over its useful life.


  • Funds cannot be used for the purchase of food, out of state travel, or attending conferences. 
  • Grant recipients who are serving solely in an administrative capacity and are transferring project funds to third parties, will not be allowed any overhead cost.
  • The Commission is not seeking applications for purely educational projects.