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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 on-the-ground projects aimed at protecting, preserving and restoring Lake Erie and its watershed. Projects focus on critical issues facing Lake Erie, including: 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 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 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 in quarter one of the current state fiscal year (July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016). All projects require a 25% match. Projects must assist with the implementation of the Lake Erie Protection and Restoration Plan 2013. The Commission is engaging in discussions about the strategic direction of the fund for the remainder of the state fiscal year. Please check back for more details.

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 2016 (July 1, 2015- June 30, 2016)


August 31, 2015 October 07, 2015


Suspended** December 16, 2015


Suspended** March 23, 2016


May 13, 2016 June 22, 2016

* Dates subject to change.

** The second and third quarter grant cycles have been suspended pending development of focused LEPF grant priorities. Please check back for more information as it becomes available. 

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 Grants Information page or Ohio EPA's Grants Landing page.

LEPF Forms

FY 2016 Grant Forms

The following forms should be used for all grant applications and reports submitted for State Fiscal Year 2016 (July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016). 


Application Form

Agency Advisor Form

Interim Report

Revision & Extension Request

Final Report Guidance

Final Accounting


Frequently Asked Questions

Lake Erie Protection & Restoration Plan 2013


Final Reports for past LEPF Grants 


Samples of past applications are available by request.