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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visit our Philanthropy Resources page.
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 Institute for Conservation Leadership is a national technical assistance provider that builds the capacity of environmental organizations through training, consulting, facilitating, and coaching. With previous Mott support, the institute helped strengthen freshwater groups in the Great Lakes and Southeast by assisting with strategic planning, fundraising, leadership development, board engagement, and other organizational development needs. With this renewal, the institute will offer a range of intensive capacity-building support services to organizations and coalitions addressing high-priority freshwater restoration and protection issues in the Great Lakes region.
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