Government agencies at all scales - Tribes, First Nations, and Métis, Federal, State/Provincial, Regional and Local - along with organizations and businesses, are investing in protecting and enhancing the condition of existing coastal wetlands and restoring former wetlands to improve resilience and areal extent, allowing them to provide habitat for fish, wildlife and plants, and benefits to our economy, health and culture.

  • Protect high quality and vulnerable coastal wetlands to prevent destruction or degradation through fee title or conservation easement
  • Restore areas of former coastal wetlands by reconnecting to Great Lakes waters, replanting native plants, and other actions
  • Enhance the quality and resilience of existing coastal wetlands by controlling invasive species, restoring hydrology, and other actions


How We're Doing It

The US and Canadian federal governments, along with States and Provinces, have established programs focused on coastal wetland protection, restoration, and enhancement and enable their own agencies, local units of government, and private partners to implement actions in priority areas. These programs include (list under development):

US Environmental Protection Agency:

  • Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
  • Habitat Conservation Partnerships Program

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

  • Coastal Zone Management Act
  • Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP; discontinued after FY 2017)

Environment and Climate Change Canada:

  • Great Lakes Protection Initiative

US Fish and Wildlife Service:

  • Coastal Program
  • Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program
  • Partners for Fish and Wildlife  Program
  • Cooperative Endangered Species Fund
  • North American Wetlands Conservation Act Grants


  • Ohio EPA Clean Water State Revolving Fund (pass-through from U.S. EPA)
  • State Wildlife Grant Program (pass-through from USFWS)
  • Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP pass-through from NOAA)
  • Great Lakes Coastal Management Programs (pass-through from NOAA)
  • Nonprofit Source Programs (pass-through from U.S. EPA)


  • Sustain our Great Lakes (NFWF)

GLRI funded wetland restoration at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, Saginaw, MI USA

©Doug Pearsall/The Nature Conservancy