A note from the Executive Director about COVID-19

Together, we face a period of uncertainty as the COVID-19 virus spreads around the globe. At the same time, the Fund’s commitment to our mission, the teams we are funding, and our Great Lakes community remains unchanged.

We want everyone to stay healthy so that our shared work can accelerate when restrictions ease. We’re doing our part to slow the spread of the virus. We have restricted all travel and Fund staff is working remotely. We understand that Fund-supported work may progress more slowly than originally planned, and we’re okay with that. We recognize that projects require travel and coordination of multi-disciplinary teams and that teams may not able to travel—or even meet—for some time. We’re working with our teams as they adjust their plans over the coming months.

We have contingency plans in place to navigate the turbulence in the financial markets and protect the permanent endowment. So far, so good.

But even in this challenging time, we are still open for business. We continue to seek transformative solutions to restore Great Lakes health. In 2020, we will develop projects and fund teams to better manage nutrients on farmland and increase adoption of regenerative agriculture systems. Let us know if you have a project idea that could contribute to these outcomes by contacting us at startaconversation@glpf.org. We hope you will continue to be a part of our collaborative network to shape a brighter future for the Great Lakes.

We will post updates on this site, so please keep an eye out for more information.

Our team is available. You can reach us as you always do, by email or phone.

Shannon Donley, Project Implementation Manager
847-425-8197, sdonley@glpf.org

Ryan Smith, Project Development Manager
847-425-8193, rsmith@glpf.org

Steve Cole, Vice President of Programs
847-425-8194, scole@glpf.org

The next few months will be challenging for all of us. Please keep in touch.

Be safe and well,

David Rankin
Executive Director
847-425-8196, drankin@glpf.org


The Great Lakes are held in trust for future generations. How do we increase their value?

Ideas in Action

The Governors of the Great Lakes states created the Great Lakes Protection Fund in 1989 to help them protect and restore their shared Great Lakes resources.

It was a unique time and a unique collaboration among governors that led to the creation of the Great Lakes Protection Fund. The Fund is the first private endowment created to benefit a specific ecosystem. The eight Great Lakes governors designed the Fund to catalyze the continuous development of new technologies, innovative methods, and practical regional actions to improve the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem.

The founding governors created something lasting that has never been duplicated.

Read the full History


million paid in State Shares

One third of the Fund’s net earnings are paid to our member states each year in proportion to their share of the corporation’s endowment. State shares are used to support local projects that match opportunities identified by each state.

Learn about State Shares


  • 2019 Overview Brochure
  • Strategic Plan 2019 - 2024
  • 25th Anniversary Brochure
  • Questions and Actions
  • Enquiry Report Summary
  • Ideas in Action
Annual Reports
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