The Lake Erie Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization established in 2016 to sustain and protect the waters of Lake Erie, knowing that a long-term effort was needed to protect the entire lake. The Lake Erie Foundation (LEF) is Lake Erie’s advocate for economic sustainability, legal defense, education, outreach, and innovative sustainable technology.
We invite interested citizens, property owners, anglers, boaters, and businesses to join our mission. While work is underway among various agencies and organizations to restore and protect our lake, the LEF is the only organization whose sole mission is to ensure a healthy Lake Erie. LEF targets membership and support from those who live, visit, and do business in the Lake Erie watershed. We collaborate with other Great Lakes nonprofits to address the many challenges we share.
A major goal of the LEF is to implement The Lake Erie Plan, an integrated, inspirational and comprehensive campaign to educate, empower, encourage, and hold accountable, federal, state, and local government officials, producers, and other involved stakeholders to implement the 40% nutrient reduction goals for Lake Erie. This campaign is a high priority for LEF through at least 2025.
The Lake Erie Foundation’s mission is to create and maintain a healthy Lake Erie now and forever.
The result of having a healthy lake will be water free of impacts from harmful algae and contaminants with minimized impacts from invasive species. Sustainable practices on land and in water will help restore Lake Erie and provide resilience to its ecosystem, providing a valuable resource for drinking, recreational activities, lake-related businesses, and aquatic and terrestrial life. When Lake Erie is healthy, it is highly productive habitat for fish and wildlife.
A healthy Lake Erie is measured by established federal, provincial and state water quality standards. Lake Erie’s western basin has problems with harmful algal blooms and the central basin frequently has a large “dead zone” (area of low oxygen level). We are committed to focusing attention and advocating for the resources necessary to address these problems, assessing water quality at public drinking water intakes, and working toward eliminating beach advisories for harmful algae and bacteria. As part of our efforts, LEF advocates that Clean Water Act provisions apply to both the western and central Lake Erie basins. Our goal is to ensure a 40% total phosphorus reduction in nutrients in both basins with full implementation of the Clean Water Act by 2025. The LEF will closely monitor water quality reports for Lake Erie’s eastern basin and watersheds as well.