Working to improve quality of life, promote community vitality and achieve a fair society.

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Environment Program

Saving Energy and Restoring the Great Lakes



Protecting and restoring the health of the Great Lakes and regional waterways, as well as adopting energy efficient measures, is critical to the sustainability of the region. Investments in this work are vital to supporting a regional vision to protect the environment and resources for the future.

Our Approach

Energy Efficiency

Local, state, and regional efforts to reduce energy use can enable Midwesterners to boost the economy and reduce global warming pollution. The Joyce Foundation Environment Program aims to establish Great Lakes states as leaders on a path to adopt energy efficiency measures and policies that are less expensive than the cost of generating more power. Learn More.

Great Lakes Restoration

The Great Lakes are America’s greatest freshwater resource – and comprise an astounding 20 percent of the world’s fresh surface water. The Joyce Foundation works on three interconnected issues: preventing the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species; eliminating polluted runoff from cities and farms; and advancing and defending key state, regional, and federal Great Lakes policies and funding.

The Foundation’s work in the Western Lake Erie basin and Greater Milwaukee River watersheds is reducing polluted runoff from farms and cities. This work demonstrates the environmental and economic benefits of watershed restoration, and makes the case for future investment regionally and nationally. Similarly, the Foundation’s work to address aquatic invasive species is identifying ways to immediately prevent Asian carp from establishing in the Great Lakes, and finding a permanent solution to prevent future invasions.

Latest News From The Environment Program


The Joyce Foundation Announces $10.2 Million in Grants

In April, 50 grants totaling $10.2 million were approved by the Joyce Foundation Board of Directors to further address pressing economic and social challenges.

3/28/2016 10:20:00 AM

Clean Energy Policies Have Consequences

Joyce's Ed Miller explores how clean energy policies have impacted job creation in the Great Lakes region.

3/23/2016 2:46:00 PM

Lake Erie phosphorus-reduction targets challenging but achievable

The University of Michigan has published a new study highlighting changes needed to improve water quality.


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