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Great Lakes Sediment and Nutrient Reduction Program (GLSNRP) Grant

Grants to USA Nonprofits and Agencies to
Reduce Water Pollution in Eligible States

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Great Lakes Commission (GLC) and U.S. Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

04/16/21 5:00 PM ET


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Grants to New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin nonprofits and local and state government agencies and commissions for projects to reduce water pollution in eligible locations. Applicants must demonstrate how the project will reduce total phosphorus contributions to the Great Lakes basin and otherwise reduce the effects of sediment and nutrients to improve local water quality.

Funding for GLSNRP supports work under GLRI Focus Area 3 aimed at controlling nonpoint source pollution and reducing nutrient runoff that contributes to harmful/nuisance algal blooms. The GLRI uses outcome-oriented performance goals and measures to target the most significant problems and track progress in addressing them. Under the GLRI, U.S. EPA and its federal partners coordinate state, tribal, local, and industry actions to protect, maintain, and restore the chemical, biological, and physical integrity of the Great Lakes. The GLSNRP supports two Focus Area 3 objectives articulated in GLRI Action Plan III, dated October 2019:

  • Reduce nutrient loads from agricultural watersheds.
  • Reduce untreated stormwater runoff.

In accordance with agreements between the Great Lakes Commission (GLC) and NRCS, the primary focus of grants issued under the GLSNRP is reducing nutrients and sediment into the Great Lakes and their tributaries. In 2021, the GLC has committed to reducing 17,380 pounds of total phosphorus over three years, therefore phosphorus control projects remain a priority for funding this year. Ideal GLSNRP projects demonstrate significant total phosphorus savings, while controlling soil erosion and reducing sedimentation within the waterways of the Great Lakes Basin. In addition to phosphorus reductions, project proposals supporting significant progress toward other Focus Area 3 Measures of Progress relevant to the GLSNRP will be considered for funding:

  • Estimated pounds of phosphorus reductions from conservation practice implementation throughout Great Lake Watersheds.
  • Acres receiving technical or financial assistance on nutrient management in priority watersheds.
  • Estimated gallons (in millions) of untreated stormwater runoff captured or treated.
  • Miles of Great Lakes shoreline and riparian corridors restored or protected.

Under this year’s program, GLSNRP will fund projects focused on reducing nutrients from three different sources: agricultural non-point, stormwater, and stabilization of Great Lakes shoreline or streambanks. Applicants will be asked to identify the primary Project Type within the application. For details about each of these sources, see:

Applications for all Project Types should:

  • Support relevant state-approved nonpoint source reduction plans (e.g., watershed plan), a nine key elements plan, or other government-endorsed plan. Applicants will be given additional consideration for funding if sufficient context is provided on how proposed activities will help to achieve the objectives of the relevant plan and benefit the Great Lakes basin.
  • Reflect significant water quality benefits.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 194718

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

The maximum funding request per project will be capped at $200,000.

Term of Contract:

Selected projects should begin no later than October 1, 2021, with potential for start dates as early as August 1, 2021, if circumstances warrant. All work must be completed within a three-year period, inclusive of the time required to obtain all permits and approvals.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants must be non-federal units of government or incorporated non-profit organizations. Eligible applicants include, but are not limited to conservation districts, county and municipal governments, regional planning commissions, federally recognized tribes, and state agencies. Examples of nonprofit organizations include watershed organizations, stream and lake associations, environmental groups, conservation groups, land conservancies and fish and wildlife groups.

Only areas within the United States portion of the Great Lakes basin are eligible for funding. U.S. federal agencies, public and private Canadian organizations, for-profit companies and private landowners cannot apply directly, but are encouraged to participate as project partners. First-time applicants to the program are encouraged to apply, in particular eligible entities serving disadvantaged communities.

GLSNRP funds cannot be used to support projects or costs required under local, state or federal regulation including permitting.

Under the program, water quality monitoring, research, and data analysis activities cannot be funded. However, soil testing and limited grab samples of surface water for outreach purposes are allowable expenses with adequate justification.

Purchases of equipment such as vehicles and/or field implements cannot be funded.3 Grant dollars also cannot be used to fund technical assistance (i.e., personnel) to implement Farm Bill cost-share programs.

Pre-proposal Conference:

A webinar for applicants will be offered on March 12, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern to discuss funding priorities and the application process, receive tips for submitting competitive proposals, and ask questions of Great Lakes Commission staff. Information to join the webinar is below. For more information, please contact Ken Gibbons, Program Specialist.

To register for the webinar, go to:

Pre-Application Information:

Complete applications – including all required supporting documents – must be received by the GLC by 5:00 p.m. Eastern on April 16, 2021. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered for funding.

Final grant decisions are anticipated in early summer 2021.

A twenty-five percent match will be required of each project.

The GLSNRP is a reimbursement-based program meaning that grantees will be reimbursed for eligible project expenses that have been incurred and paid by the grantee, with sufficient documentation provided to the GLC upon request.

Program page:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

Application Content and/or Project-Specific Questions:
Nicole Zacharda, Program Manager

Project Budget and/or Application Submittal Questions:
Ken Gibbons, Program Specialist

Great Lakes Commission
1300 Victors Way, Suite 1350
Ann Arbor, MI 48108-5203

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Illinois;   Indiana;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   New York;   Ohio;   Pennsylvania;   Wisconsin

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