Environment Program - Addressing the Freshwater Challenge

Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

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Grant amount: US $40,000 - US $400,000

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Nonprofit College / University

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Preferred: Michigan, Lake County, Illinois, Counties in Indiana: Adams County, Allen County, DeKalb County, Elkhart County, Kosciusko County, LaGrange County, LaPorte County, Noble County, Porter County, St. Joseph County, Steuben County, Wells County, Whitley County, Counties in Minnesota: Aitkin County, Carlton County, Cook County, Itasca County, Lake County, Pine County, St. Louis County, Counties in New York: Allegany County, Cattaraugus County, Cayuga County, Chautauqua County, Chemung County, Clinton County, Cortland County, Erie County, Essex County, Franklin County, Genesee County, Hamilton County, Herkimer County, Jefferson County, Lewis County, Livingston County, Madison County, Monroe County, Niagara County, Oneida County, Onondaga County, Ontario County, Orleans County, Oswego County, Schuyler County, Seneca County, St. Lawrence County, Steuben County, Tompkins County, Wayne County, Wyoming County, Yates County, Counties in Ohio: Allen County, Ashland County, Auglaize County, Crawford County, Cuyahoga County, Defiance County, Erie County, Fulton County, Geauga County, Hancock County, Hardin County, Henry County, Huron County, Lake County, Lorain County, Lucas County, Marion County, Medina County, Mercer County, Ottawa County, Paulding County, Portage County, Putnam County, Richland County, Sandusky County, Seneca County, Shelby County, Stark County, Summit County, Trumbull County, Van Wert County, Williams County, Wood County, Wyandot County, Counties in Pennsylvania: Crawford County, Erie County, Potter County, Counties in Wisconsin: Adams County, Ashland County, Bayfield County, Brown County, Calumet County, Columbia County, Dodge County, Door County, Douglas County, Florence County, Fond du Lac County, Forest County, Green Lake County, Iron County, Kenosha County, Kewaunee County, Langlade County, Manitowoc County, Marathon County, Marinette County, Marquette County, Menominee County, Milwaukee County, Oconto County, Oneida County, Outagamie County, Ozaukee County, Portage County, Racine County, Shawano County, Sheboygan County, Vilas County, Washington County, Waukesha County, Waupaca County, Waushara County, Winnebago County Other eligible locations: Alabama, Georgia (US state), Michigan, South Carolina, Lake County, Illinois Expand all

Location of residency: United States

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Environment - Addressing the Freshwater Challenge

We support efforts to secure sustainable levels of clean water for people and the environment, particularly in the Great Lakes basin.

Clean water is the lifeblood of healthy ecosystems and communities.

How it Works

We work to ensure long-term conservation of freshwater ecosystems by strengthening the environmental community and informing the development of water policy.

Securing enough clean water to support people and the environment presents what we call the Freshwater Challenge. In areas where freshwater is relatively abundant, the challenge often involves protecting and restoring existing supplies. In other places, it also requires more efficient use of a scarce resource.

Our grantmaking has two objectives: strengthen the environmental community and inform the development of water quality and water quantity policies.

  • In the Great Lakes region, where most of our freshwater grantmaking is concentrated, we seek a strong, effective and sustainable community of non-governmental organizations dedicated to the long-term conservation of freshwater ecosystems.
  • In the southeast United States, our grantmaking is focused exclusively on policy issues related to water quantity.

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


  • Strengthening the Environmental Community:
    • We make grants to:
      • key organizations active in freshwater issues, particularly state-level groups, to build their organizational capacity and coordinate efforts;
      • intermediary organizations that help build the capacity of nonprofits and leaders working to conserve freshwater ecosystems; and
      • regional and national organizations developing the field of freshwater conservation by sharing lessons learned in the Great Lakes and other regions of interest to Mott.
  • Informing Sound Public Policies
    • We also seek well-designed and effectively implemented policies that advance the conservation of freshwater ecosystems. We make grants to:
      • groups working at the state and local levels on select policy reform efforts; and
      • regional and national groups that provide assistance to state and local groups engaged in the same policy issues.


  • No grants or loans to individuals.
  • No grants (except in the Flint area) for capital development, research, project replication or endowment unless these activities grow out of work already being funded by Mott.
  • No grants for religious activities or programs serving specific religious groups or denominations. However, faith-based organizations may submit inquiries if the project falls within our guidelines and serves a broad segment of the population.
  • No grants (except in the Flint area) for local projects unless they are part of a Mott-planned national demonstration or network of grants.
  • No grants for projects that duplicate, or significantly overlap, the work of federal, state or local governmental agencies.
  • Film and video projects, books, scholarships and fellowships rarely are funded.