The GLFT has sold all of the 10,000 acres of land it received under the settlement and invested the revenue from the sales to support its grant programs. The proceeds from the land sales, in addition to the original and annual fish damage payments, have been invested in the Trust.

GLFT grants to mitigate fish losses between 1998 and 2010 totaled more than $50.6 million. Funded grant projects and related activities have focused on the authorized uses specifically identified in the settlement. The GLFT has worked cooperatively with many research institutions; state, tribal, and national management agencies; regional authorities; and private foundations to maximize the effectiveness of its grant programs and to encourage collaboration to address issues of common concern. By 2020, the year of the last fish loss payment by the utilities under their current license, the GLFT will have invested approximately $100 million in mitigation projects to protect and restore the Great Lakes fishery.

The chart below shows GLFT grant awards by broad category. Nearly two-thirds of funds awarded (62 percent) have been associated with the GLFT’s ecosystem health and sustainable fish populations priority. Approximately 23 percent of GLFT grant resources have supported access to the fishery, and about 16 percent have supported Great Lakes stewardship.

Grantees by Category, 1998–2010

The GLFT makes grants to nonprofit organizations, government, tribes and academic institutions. The following chart shows how grant dollars have been distributed by organizational type. Approximately 43 percent of GLFT grant dollars have been distributed to academic institutions, predominantly in support of hypothesis-driven fisheries research. An additional 36 percent of grant resources have been distributed to units of government (both U.S. and Canadian), with federal entities and the state of Michigan receiving several fisheries research grants, and local units of government typically recipients of grants for access to the fishery. Nonprofit organizations have received 16 percent of grant resources; about half of these grants went to land conservancies for land acquisition projects. About 5 percent of grant resources have been distributed to tribal government entities.

Grants by Organizational Type, 1998–2010 ($ in millions)