Foundation grantmaking focuses on four major program areas.
These programs touch upon a number of major issues.
Each grantmaking program also works within clearly stated geographic parameters or regions.
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The Mott Foundation's domestic environmental grantmaking focuses on Conservation of Freshwater Ecosystems in the Great Lakes basin and a large portion of southeastern United States.
Every autumn, when cold air settles over the Great Lakes region, anglers from as far away as Europe and Asia make their way to a river in west Michigan to test their skill against powerful fish known affectionately as “silver bullets.”
The prized catch is steelhead and the Muskegon River is one of the best places in America to find them, according to biologists and experienced anglers. It’s a remarkable designation for a river that carried millions of logs to sawmills in the 19th century, only to become strangled by hydroelectric dams in the first decade of the 20th century.
Dams changed the Muskegon’s natural blueprint by creating new flow patterns, altering the movement of sediment and nutrients, raising the temperature of its water, reducing the amount of oxygen available to fish, creating artificial divisions in wildlife habitat and preventing fish in Lake Michigan from reaching 79 percent of the river that is upstream of the towering structures. The result: a vital ecosystem that was profoundly changed and put at risk of significant damage.
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The Great Lakes ecosystem supplies drinking water to millions of New York residents. The area's lakes and rivers also support multibillion dollar industries and offer many recreational opportunities. Citizens Campaign Fund for the Environment is a New York-based environmental organization with a longtime commitment to the Great Lakes. With this general purposes grant from Mott, the organization will advance its programs related to water resources, environmental education, energy education, environment and public health research, and endangered species and conservation. The organization will pay particular attention to Great Lakes' needs, in part, by helping update and implement New York's Great Lakes Action Agenda, which is the state's comprehensive plan to address Great Lakes issues. The organization will also further develop its organizational capacity by updating management practices and communications systems.
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