Funding Available to Become a Great Lakes Guardian!


The Great Lakes are vitally important to all Ontarians; they provide clean drinking water, fresh food and a multitude of recreational opportunities. The Great Lakes contain nearly 20% of the Earth’s freshwater and act as the “lifeblood” of the province and beyond. Unfortunately, the Great Lakes face numerous challenges that have degraded their quality over time, such as chemical loading, agricultural run-off, invasive species, erosion and climate change (to name a few).

The Ontario Government is taking action to protect and restore the Great Lakes by establishing the Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund. Ontario is looking for local champions from First Nation and Métis communities (as well as not-for-profit organizations) to lead initiatives that contribute to the protection or enhancement of any Great Lakes watershed. A $25,000 grant is available to successful applicants who can design projects that help to tangibly improve the Great Lakes environment.

In 2014, only 5 of the 62 successful funding applicants were First Nation or Métis communities, with all others being not-for-profit organizations. We at Shared Value Solutions (SVS) believe that this number could, and should grow in 2015. As First Nations and Métis citizens are the original stewards of the Great Lakes, and have relied upon Great Lakes waters for centuries in all aspects of life.

Please take a look at this brief overview of the program SVS has prepared, as well as the Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund website to see if this funding is something that interests your community.

Need help with your application or project design?  Let’s collaborate!

Read on for more info about the Great Lakes Guardian Fund

Shared Value Solutions works with Indigenous nations across Canada, and regularly supports clients in successfully applying for funding opportunities and enhancing environmental capacity. 

If your community is interested in participating in the Great Lakes Guardian program and wants assistance you can contact Jeremy or John at SVS: 226-706-8888 or

The deadline to apply for funding is October 23rd, 2015

What’s the Opportunity? 

Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund

The Great Lakes- a critical ecosystem

What is the Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund?

Do you want to take action in your community so that you can enjoy healthy, vibrant Great Lakes that provide clean drinking water and are safe to swim and fish now and in the future?

  • In 2012, Ontario launched the Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund, offering grants to community groups and organizations to help restore their corner of the Lakes. Since 2012, Ontario has committed funding to 221 projects.
  • Projects can be funded up to $25,000.
  • Grants are available for projects that take place in Ontario within the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Basin. This includes: Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, the Ottawa River, their connecting channels, and their watersheds (open to most rivers in Southern and Central Ontario)
  • First Nation and Métis communities and non-governmental organizations are the only eligible applicants.
  • Only projects with a direct environmental benefit – those that result in measurable environmental improvements will be funded.

What gets funded?– Requirements for Funding

To qualify, your project must have a direct environmental benefit and support at least 1 of the 3 goals.

Goal 1: Protect water quality for human and ecological health

Examples to meet this goal include:

  • strengthen riverbanks to reduce erosion
  • restore wetlands to manage storm water runoff
  • build fences to keep livestock out of waterways

Goal 2: Improve wetlands, beaches and coastal areas

  • plant native grasses to restore sand dunes
  • rehabilitate coastal wetlands by restoring fish habitats
  • organize community events to clean-up shorelines
  • restore wetlands using indigenous knowledge/traditional ecological knowledge

Goal 3: Protect habitats and species

  • plant trees to provided shaded habitats along shorelines
  • create habitats for wetland wildlife
  • restore traditional harvesting areas by planting native species (e.g., wild rice)
  • creating fish spawning beds


Here are some examples of projects that could qualify:

  • Create a shoreline management plan to restore coastal wetlands or clean-up shorelines 
  • Protecting traditional harvesting areas from invasive species by using traditional ecological knowledge shared by a First Nation community or a Métis community.
  • Training community volunteers  in the identification and removal of invasive species

Application Timeline

  • Applications are due by October 23rd, 2015
  • Projects must be completed by February 3rd, 2017

How Will Applications Be Evaluated?

If your application passes the screening process, it will be reviewed by experts and ranked according to three evaluation criteria:

  • Direct environmental benefit (40% of total score)

-Your project is more likely to be funded the more it contributes to an environmental need.

The more long-lasting the environmental benefit of your project the more likely it is to be funded.

  • Community involvement, collaboration and leverage (30% of total score)

-Projects must involve the community engaged in restoring and protecting the ecological health of the Great Lakes. Projects that mobilize members of the community to take action, in particular, projects mobilizing youth or youth groups, are more likely to be funded.

  • Sound project design (30% of total score)

-The better designed your project is, the more likely it is to get funding. Projects with detailed work plans/budgets, realistic timelines, and qualified personnel are more likely to be funded.

How to Apply

Application forms are available on the Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund website at:


Need help with your application or project design?  Let’s collaborate!

Shared Value Solutions Ltd. works with Indigenous nations across Canada, and regularly supports clients in successfully applying for funding opportunities and enhancing environmental capacity. 

If your community is interested in participating in the Great Lakes Guardian program and wants assistance you can contact Jeremy or John at SVS: 226-706-8888 or

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About Shared Value Solutions

SVS is a growing consulting firm whose core business is in regulatory and Environmental Assessment support and strategy; oral history, land use and occupancy and archaeology studies; Aboriginal and private sector business partnerships; and community consultation and engagement. We assist Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities and private sector companies in coming together to create shared value for all parties involved. Our mission is to “have fun, make money, do good, and do good work”.

We are an Ontario B Corp and we bring the best engineering, design, environment, architecture and other technical discipline expertise to address your challenges and opportunities: 

  • Strategic Environmental Assessment guidance, coordination and support
  • Collaborative land and resource use planning and management- process design and delivery
  • Traditional Ecological Knowledge Studies & Traditional Knowledge Studies
  • Traditional Land Use Studies (TLUS)/ Traditional Land Use and Occupancy Mapping
  • Certified BEAHR Training for Aboriginal Environmental Monitors
  • Design and delivery of programs promoting/supporting positive behaviour change- environmental stewardship, community-based social marketing, health/environmental health promotion, Aboriginal community energy plan initiatives
  • Contributing human environment considerations to technical assessments and management plans in sectors such as water resources, remediation, land use, mining, oil & gas, linear corridor development, forestry, renewable energy, nuclear waste, contaminated sites, brownfield redevelopment, watershed planning, drought planning, water use planning, waste management and waste diversion
  • Aboriginal and Industry Partnerships working with First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities
  • Value Engineering & Value Analysis: we facilitate project teams to optimize a project by understanding functions, objectives, costs and social, cultural and environmental considerations.

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