The Ohio Lake Erie Commission administers Ohio’s Lake Erie Protection Fund, which was established to finance research and on-the-ground projects aimed at protecting, preserving and restoring Lake Erie and its watershed. Projects focus on critical issues facing Lake Erie, including: nutrient reduction, beneficial use of dredged material, water quality protection, fisheries management, wetlands restoration, watershed planning, invasive species, algal bloom research, Lake Erie ecological shifts, and environmental measurements.
The Fund is supported through tax-deductible donation online via PayPal, by check, or through purchase of a Lake Erie license plate featuring the Marblehead Lighthouse, Toledo Harbor Lighthouse, or Lake Erie life preserver. More than $12 million has been distributed to over 365 projects since 1993. Click here to support Ohio's Lake Erie Protection Fund!
Grants will be available in the state fiscal year 2018 (July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018). Projects must assist with the implementation of the Lake Erie Protection and Restoration Plan 2016.
NEW: Request for Proposals: Agricultural Use of Dredged Material from Ohio’s Toledo Harbor DUE AUGUST 3, 2018. Please use the standard LEPF Application Form. David Emerman of the Ohio Lake Erie Commission staff will serve as the Agency Advisor for these proposals (NO AGENCY ADVISOR FORM IS REQUIRED). Please contact Commission staff with questions as indicated in the RFP.
Grants will be available up to $50,000. All projects require a 25% match ($12,500). Two projects will be awarded in each of the two cycles for a total of four grants available. For more details please see the application or contact the Commission staff.
PLEASE NOTE: Site prep and even necessary equipment will be provided (by the Healthy Lake Erie Initiative). Potential applicants should note their needs in the proposal, e.g., site needs to be cleared and disc-ed, will need a high float tractor capable of whatever planting they need, etc., but don’t include those costs in their budget.
The mailing address for submitting all grant applications, contracts, project reports and accounting forms is:
If you have a project that you are considering submitting to the Lake Erie Protection Fund, it is recommended that you contact the Ohio Lake Erie Commission Office to discuss your project (please call 419-357-2775). If you have problems with the application forms or have questions on filling out the application form, please contact us.
* Dates subject to change. Note that there will only be two cycles of grants in Fiscal Year 2018.
Application Form (pdf) - Use the application form to apply for a LEPF grant. If you have problems with the application form, please contact the Ohio Lake Erie Commission.
Agency Advisor Form (pdf) - Must be completed and submitted by an agency advisor. All grant applications must list an eligible agency advisor. Agency advisors may work for any of Ohio's cabinet level agencies. It is the responsibility of the applicant to find an agency advisor for their project. You may contact the Commission staff for assistance in this process if you have difficulty finding an advisor.
Additional Grant Documentation
Interim Report (pdf) - An Interim Report is typically due 6 months after a project begins. The exact due date is listed in your Project Agreement. This form must be completed and submitted by mail no later than the due date provided.
Project Revision & Extension Form (pdf) - This form should be used to revise the project deliverables, revise the project budget, or request an extension on an Interm or Final Report due date. Requests for extensions are due 30 days prior to the report due date. If a no-cost or no-budget-change project revision or extension is requested, a budget page is not required.
Final Report Guidance (pdf) - The Final Report can take many forms. This document provides basic guidance on what does or does not count as a Final Report.
Final Accounting (pdf) - Final Accounting, including match, must be submitted on this form along with the Final Report. All signatures are required on this form.
Ohio Revised Code (pdf)- ORC 1506.23 - Purposes of the Lake Erie Protection Fund.
Final Reports from Past Projects
Final Reports for past LEPF projects can be found on our Grants Information Page.
Other Funding Opportunities
To learn about other funding sources for your project, visit our Grants Information page or Ohio EPA's Grants Landing page.
The following forms should be used for all grant applications and reports submitted for State Fiscal Year 2018 (July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018).
Agency Advisor Form
Revision & Extension Request
Final Report Guidance
Frequently Asked Questions
Lake Erie Protection & Restoration Plan
Final Reports for past LEPF Grants
Samples of past applications are available by request.