Special Initiatives

We support unique opportunities to advance environmental protection.

A couple and their two dogs walk down a hiking path in a dense forest.

How it Works

Special Initiatives grants address uncommon environmental issues in the U.S. and abroad that are beyond the scope of our existing program areas.

A family hikes down a large sandy dune on a sunny day.

We have one objective for our Special Initiatives: to support one-time opportunities to contribute to the resolution of significant environmental concerns — that go beyond the stated objectives of the Environment Program’s major objectives — at the domestic, international or global level.

In the past, we’ve used this program to support: the response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico; a groundbreaking approach to managing Great Lakes water; work on public transit projects; and reforms to international finance governance systems following the 2008 global financial crisis. Due to budget constraints, funds typically are not allocated to this objective until specific projects are identified.

This program area gives us the flexibility to support innovative solutions to complex problems, such as figuring out a way to keep Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan via the Chicago River.”
Image of a man, Sam Passmore, standing on the sidewalk in front of the Mott Foundation Building wearing a suit and dress shirt as he smiles for the camera. Sam Passmore, Environment program director


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