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: 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 2019 (July 1, 2018-June 30, 2019). Projects must assist with the implementation of the Lake Erie Protection and Restoration Plan 2016.

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.

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

Ohio Lake Erie Commission
347 N. Dunbridge Road
Bowling Green, Ohio 43402

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.

Quarter Application Due Date* Commission Meeting Date*
  Fiscal Year 2019 (July 1, 2018- June 30, 2019)
1 August 3, 2018 September 18, 2018
4 May 10, 2019 June, 2019

* Dates subject to change. Note that there will only be two cycles of grants in Fiscal Year 2019.

Grant Application

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. (the 2019 form is under development and should be posted by the end of calendar year 2018)

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.

LEPF Forms

The following forms should be used for all grant applications and reports submitted for State Fiscal Year 2019 (July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2019). 


Application Form (under development)

Agency Advisor Form

Interim Report

Revision & Extension Request

Final Report Guidance

Final Accounting

Frequently Asked Questions

Lake Erie Protection & Restoration Plan

Final Reports for past LEPF Grants 


Samples of past applications are available by request.