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Lake Erie Protection Fund

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission administers Ohio’s Lake Erie Protection Fund, which was established to finance research and implementation projects aimed at protecting, preserving and restoring Lake Erie and its watershed. The Lake Erie Protection Fund focuses on projects that lead to better management decisions for both environmental and economic development. The Fund is supported through donation or purchase of a Lake Erie license plate displaying the Marblehead Lighthouse by Ohio artist Ben Richmond, or the Lake Erie life ring.


Grants are available to fund a wide variety of projects which provide a direct benefit to Lake Erie and its tributary watersheds in Ohio. Grants up to $15,000 will be available during quarters one, three and four of the fiscal year. One grant up to $30,000 will be available during quarter two of the fiscal year. All projects require a 25% match. Projects must assist with the implementation of the Lake Erie Protection and Restoration Plan 2013. ***Please note: In Quarter 4, the maximum funding amount that can be requested per project is $13,400.


In quarter two, one grant up to $30,000 is available to fund an assessment of Lake Erie coastal wetlands utilizing the Coastal Wetland Vegetative Index of Biotic Integrity (VIBI-ECOASTAL). The 2004 Lake Erie Quality Index (LEQI) evaluated coastal wetland sites for their plant diversity and the Commission is seeking to replicate this study for comparison with present day conditions. Results of this project will used for a 2015 update to the Lake Erie Quality Index. For additional project details, please refer to the RFP. Qualified public and private, nonprofit and for profit entities are encouraged to apply. Please reference the following report for project methodology: Ohio EPA Coastal Wetland VIBI Report. For additional information, please contact rian.sallee@lakeerie.ohio.gov.


The mailing address for submitting all grant applications, contracts, project reports and accounting forms is:

Ohio Lake Erie Commission
111 E. Shoreline Drive
Sandusky, Ohio 44870


If you have a project that you are considering submitting to the Lake Erie Protection Fund, it is recommended that you contact the Lake Erie Commission Office to discuss your project.  If you have problems with the application forms or have questions on filling out the application form, please contact us.



Application Due Date*

Commission Meeting Date*


Fiscal Year 2014 (July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014)


August 12, 2013

September 25, 2013


 November 8, 2013

 December 18, 2013


February 7, 2014

March 26, 2014


May 9, 2014**

June 18, 2014

* Dates subject to change.

**Please note: In Quarter 4, the maximum funding amount that can be requested per project is $13,400.


Grant applications that address the LEPR 2013 are currently being accepted.  Please click on the link LEPR Strategic Objectives & the LEPF to the right to learn how to use the LEPR when drafting your application. 


Grant Process

Application Form (pdf) - Use the application form to apply for a LEPF grant.  All grant applications must list an eligible agency advisor.  Agency advisors may work for any of Ohio's cabinet level agencies. If you have problems with the application form, please contact the Lake Erie Commission.

Agency Advisor Form (pdf) - Must be completed and submitted by an agency advisor.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to find an agency advisor for their project. All text must fit within the alloted space.

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 Links Page or Ohio EPA's Grants Landing Page.

LEPF Forms

FY 2014 Grant Forms

The following forms should be used for all grant applications and reports submitted for State Fiscal Year 2014 (July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014). 


Application Form

Agency Advisor Form

Interim Report

Revision & Extension Request

Final Report Guidance

Final Accounting


Frequently Asked Questions

LEPR Strategic Objectives & the LEPF

Lake Erie Protection & Restoration Plan 2013


Final Reports for past LEPF Grants 


Samples of past applications are available by request.