The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service accepts project proposals annually to protect, restore and enhance Great Lakes fish and wildlife habitat under the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act (Act). Interested entities should submit restoration, research and Regional Project proposals for the restoration of Great Lakes fish and wildlife resources.
The Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act (16 U.S.C. 941) was enacted on November 29, 1990, with the purpose “to carry out a comprehensive study of the status, and the assessment, management, and restoration needs, of the fishery resources of the Great Lakes Basin; to develop proposals to implement recommendations resulting from that study; and to provide assistance to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, states, Indian tribes, and other interested entities to encourage cooperative conservation, restoration and management of fish and wildlife resources and their habitat.”
The Service completed the Great Lakes Fishery Resources Restoration Study in 1995. The Study focused on the status of fishery resources and habitat in the Great Lakes basin, including effectiveness of present management plans and analysis of the impacts and management alternatives for recently introduced non-indigenous species.
The Act was reauthorized in 1998, and Congress created a Proposal Review Committee authorized to assist the Service in identifying, reviewing and implementing proposals for the restoration of fish and wildlife resources based on the results of the Great Lakes Fishery Resources Restoration Study. The Act was reauthorized in 2006 and again in 2016.
The six goals of the Act are:
- Restoring and maintaining self-sustaining fish and wildlife resources.
- Minimizing the impacts of contaminants on fishery and wildlife resources.
- Protecting, maintaining and, where degraded and destroyed, restoring fish and wildlife habitat, including the enhancement and creation of wetlands that result in a net gain in the amount of those habitats.
- Stopping illegal activities adversely impacting fishery and wildlife resources.
- Restoring threatened and endangered species to viable, self-sustaining levels.
- Protecting, managing and conserving migratory birds.
Two-page pre-proposals and regional project proposals are submitted to the Service for review. Successful restoration and research applicants are invited to submit full proposals, which are reviewed and ranked by the Proposal Review Committee. Restoration and research full proposals, and regional projects selected for funding will be awarded funding for the duration of the project via a grant or cooperative agreement between the recipient and the Service. Funding will be made available once the award letter has been received. Continuation of proposals funded in previous fiscal years is eligible but will be considered and reviewed as a new proposal. Please see the Notice of Funding Opportunity for full details. Pre-proposals and Regional Project proposals must be submitted through Grantsolutions.gov.