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Conservation of Freshwater Ecosystems

This program area seeks to advance the conservation and restoration of freshwater ecosystems in North America, with emphasis on the Great Lakes and, to a lesser extent, portions of the southeastern U.S.

We focus our grantmaking on these two regions because of the uniqueness and richness of these freshwater ecosystems. The Great Lakes is the world's largest freshwater ecosystem, containing 20 percent of the global supply of fresh water. Freshwater ecosystems within the Southeast have among the highest levels of species diversity in the world.

Because of budget limitations, however, we are in the process of reducing our grantmaking in the Southeast in order to sustain our freshwater grantmaking in our home region of the Great Lakes.


Our funding is made under three objectives.


Funding priorities for Strengthening the Environmental Community

Ecosystems where Mott fundsWe seek a strong, effective, and sustainable non-governmental (NGO) community dedicated to the long-term conservation of freshwater ecosystems. We are making grants:

  • To key organizations active in freshwater issues, particularly state-level and regional groups, to build their organizational capacity.
  • To intermediary organizations that provide capacity-building technical assistance and/or small grants to nonprofits working to conserve freshwater ecosystems.

Click here to view the 10 most recent grants for this program area.


Funding priorities for Public Policies

We seek well-designed and effectively implemented water quality and water quantity policies that advance the conservation of freshwater ecosystems. We are making grants:

  • To groups working at the state and local levels on selected public policy reform efforts.
  • To regional and national groups that provide technical assistance and/or regrant funds to state and local groups engaged in the same selected policy reform efforts.

Click here to view the 10 most recent grants for this program area.


Funding priorities for Site-Based Conservation

We seek selected freshwater ecosystems protected and restored through place-based conservation activities. We are making grants:

  • To national, state and local land trusts to plan and/or take conservation action at selected freshwater sites.
  • To national land trusts and land trust service centers to provide technical assistance and regrant funds to partner groups engaged in the design and/or implementation of conservation action at selected freshwater sites.

Due to budget limitations, such site-based conservation activities are funded on an invitation-only basis.

Click here to view the 10 most recent grants for this program area.