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.
For general information and resources about philanthropy,
visit our Philanthropy Resources page.
We believe the need for clean, plentiful freshwater is one of this century’s greatest challenges. Securing sustainable levels of this precious resource to meet the needs of both people and nature — what we call the freshwater challenge — is a key focus of much of the Mott Foundation’s environmental grantmaking in the United States.
We place special emphasis on the Great Lakes region — not only because the shores of our home state of Michigan touch four of the five Great Lakes, but also because the Great Lakes are the single largest system of surface freshwater on Earth. As such, they affect the physical, social and economic well-being of tens of millions of people in and beyond the region.
On a more limited basis, we also support work in the southeastern United States specifically aimed at securing healthy river flows. When it comes to rivers and streams, the Southeast is one of the most important places on the planet and, next to the Amazon, is home to the most biologically diverse freshwater ecosystems in the world. Increasingly, however, the rivers of the Southeast region face high risk of rising pollution levels and habitat degradation. We concentrate our grantmaking in three ecoregions: Tennessee-Cumberland, Mobile Bay and South Atlantic. This translates roughly into a focus on the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama.
In both of these globally significant regions we’re working to help strengthen the community of nongovernmental organizations dedicated to the long-term conservation of freshwater ecosystems. We also seek to inform and advance well-designed and effectively implemented water-quality and water-quantity policies that conserve freshwater resources.
The majority of our freshwater grantmaking focuses on the Great Lakes — the single largest system of surface freshwater on Earth.
In the southeast, we concentrate our grantmaking in the three ecoregions pictured.
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 initiated an in-depth regional assessment of the capacity needs of freshwater groups focusing on leadership development. This grant increase will allow the organization to complete this research and develop services that meet the needs of Great Lakes freshwater organizations.
The Southern Environmental Law Center, a leading regional environmental group, works to protect the biodiversity of the Southeast’s freshwater resources. The center will continue to help design and implement water management policies in five states with an emphasis on promoting water use efficiency. The project also will include efforts to slow the push for new reservoirs when they are unnecessary and improve the operation of existing hydropower dams in order to enhance freshwater habitat. Special attention will be given to ongoing efforts by the state of Alabama to develop a comprehensive water management policy.
The mission of the Great Lakes Aquatic Habitat Network and Fund is to empower citizens to take action at the community level to protect and restore wetlands, shorelines, rivers, lakes, and other aquatic habitats throughout the Great Lakes basin. This grant increase will be used to carry out a planning process that will allow the network to identify potential new dimensions for its work.
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.
For full story click here.
Charles Stewart Mott Foundation® | Mott Foundation Building, 503 S. Saginaw Street, Suite 1200, Flint, Michigan 48502-1851
Telephone: +1-810-238-5651 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Content available under a Creative Commons license.