Monarch butterfly in an urban pollinator garden

Southeast Michigan Resilience Fund Awards $1.45 Million to Improve Community and Habitat Resilience

Public-private partnership funds seven projects to reduce stormwater impact, improve water quality, enhance habitat and increase accessibility and usability of public green space

Monarch butterfly in an urban pollinator garden

DETROIT (June 17, 2020)Southeast Michigan Resilience Fund partners today announced seven projects selected to receive $1.45 million in grant funding to benefit communities and wildlife habitats in southeast Michigan. The grants awarded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) will leverage $1.85 million in matching contributions to generate a total conservation impact of more than $3.3 million.

These community-driven investments will strengthen regional resilience by installing green infrastructure, and reducing the threat of flooding and other intensifying environmental stressors. Additionally, projects will restore critical habitat for wildlife including least bittern, Karner blue butterfly, and wavy rayed lampmussel and create or enhance public access to and use of natural areas and parks across four counties.

The projects supported by these grants will:

  • Add 1.35 million gallons of stormwater storage
  • Restore and enhance 100 acres of wildlife habitat
  • Plant 380 trees for increased stormwater storage and habitat
  • Help restore the quality and connectivity of the region’s unique habitats
  • Improve quality of life for residents by increasing public access to natural areas and parks for communities through 6 new access points
  • Reach more than 22,000 people through direct engagement or education

“Investments that help restore habitat, improve water quality and enhance access to natural areas are vital to the quality of life and the future of human and wildlife communities,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “The grants awarded in the second year of the Southeast Michigan Resilience Fund will help make that future possible, and will support dynamic and meaningful conservation work occurring across the region.”

Seven corporate, foundation and government funding partners joined NFWF to create the Southeast Michigan Resilience Fund. The fund is supported by contributions from:

  • ArcelorMittal
  • The Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation
  • The Kresge Foundation
  • The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • The U.S. Forest Service 

“By enhancing natural public spaces and addressing the deep needs to control stormwater runoff made worse by climate change in communities, these grants demonstrate the kind of win-win progress we need,” said Kresge Environment Senior Program Officer Jalonne L. White-Newsome. “We can’t separate questions of the equitable deployment of green stormwater infrastructure and flood control from questions of natural habitat; we owe to our humanity to keep public spaces as part of the equation.”

“We are pleased to participate in this high impact public-private partnership,” said Neil Hawkins Sc.D., president of the Erb Family Foundation. “Projects supported in its inaugural two years will remove 2.6 million gallons of stormwater annually through green stormwater infrastructure (GSI), create habitat and improve public access to green space. Untreated stormwater can create combined sewer overflows in Detroit, and almost all of the GSI projects approved to date are designed to address that.”

“The Southeast Michigan Resilience Fund continues to exemplify the strength of public-private partnerships,” said Chris Korleski, director for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes National Program Office. “The fund brings together federal and non-governmental partners, including corporate and non-profit partners that leverage Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funds to deliver on-the-ground projects in communities that reduce stormwater runoff, restore habitat and improve water quality in the Great Lakes basin.”

To learn more about the Southeast Michigan Resilience Fund and the seven projects announced today, please visit

About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) works with the public and private sectors to sustain, restore and enhance the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats for current and future generations. Chartered by Congress in 1984, NFWF has grown to become the nation’s largest private conservation grant-maker, funding more than 18,600 projects and generating a total conservation impact of $6.1 billion. Learn more at

About ArcelorMittal
ArcelorMittal is the world's leading steel and mining company, with a presence in 60 countries and an industrial footprint in 19 countries. Guided by a philosophy to produce safe, sustainable steel, we are the leading supplier of quality steel in the major global steel markets including automotive, construction, household appliances and packaging, with world-class research and development and outstanding distribution networks. 

Through our core values of sustainability, quality and leadership, we operate responsibly with respect to the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees, contractors and the communities in which we operate. For more information about ArcelorMittal, visit: or

About the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation
The Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation’s mission is to advance an environmentally healthy and culturally vibrant metropolitan Detroit and a flourishing Great Lakes ecosystem. The Foundation is focused on improving water quality, especially in the watersheds impacting metro Detroit and Bayfield, Ontario; promoting environmental health, justice and sustainable development; and supporting the arts as a means to strengthen the metropolitan Detroit region. One-third of the foundation’s annual $12 million grants budget is targeted towards improving water stewardship and promoting green stormwater infrastructure. For more information, visit

About The Kresge Foundation
The Kresge Foundation was founded in 1924 to promote human progress. Today, Kresge fulfills that mission by building and strengthening pathways to opportunity for low-income people in America’s cities, seeking to dismantle structural and systemic barriers to equality and justice. Using a full array of grant, loan, and other investment tools, Kresge invests more than $160 million annually to foster economic and social change. For more information visit

About the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation
The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation is a grantmaking organization dedicated primarily to sustained investment in the quality of life of the people of Southeast Michigan and Western New York. The two areas reflect Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.’s devotion to his hometown of Detroit and greater Buffalo, home of his Buffalo Bills franchise. Prior to his passing in 2014, Mr. Wilson requested that a significant share of his estate be used to continue a life-long generosity of spirit by funding the foundation that bears his name. The foundation has a grantmaking capacity of $1.2 billion over a 20-year period, which expires January 8, 2035. This structure is consistent with Mr. Wilson’s desire for the foundation’s impact to be immediate, substantial, measurable, and overseen by those who knew him best. For more information, visit

About the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) leads the nation’s environmental science, research, education, and assessment efforts. The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency is to protect human health and the environment. Since 1970, EPA has been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people. For more information, visit

About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is to work with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit

About the U.S. Forest Service
Established in 1905, the U.S. Forest Service is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The mission of the Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live. For more information, visit


Rob Blumenthal,, 202-857-0166