The Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative (LSSI) is part of a larger statewide initiative, The Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative (GLSI), which seeks to expand K-12 classrooms and improve communities across Michigan through community-based learning. The GLSI was established and funded in November 2007 by the Great Lakes Fishery Trust with the support of the Wege Foundation.

The Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative (GLSI) awards grants to regional hubs. Rather than creating new organizations to serve as hubs, the Great Lakes Fishery Trust (GLFT) prefers to fund organizations already working in environmental education and stewardship.

The Great Lakes Fishery Trust


"The mission of the Great Lakes Fishery Trust (GLFT) is to provide funding to nonprofit organizations, education institutions, and government agencies to enhance, protect, and rehabilitate the Great Lakes fishery. The Trust will manage its resources to compensate for the lost use and enjoyment of the Lake Michigan fishery resulting from the operation of the Ludington Pumped Storage Plant" (Great Lakes Fisheries Trust. "About GLFT." 2008. Lansing, MI. June 2, 2009.


"The GLFT is an innovative funding source created in April 1996 as part of the settlement with Consumers Energy and the Detroit Edison Company for fish losses caused by the operation of the Ludington Pumped Storage Plant. The utilities provide annual compensation to the GLFT for fish losses caused by the plant. The GLFT provides funding to educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies for projects related to Great Lakes fisheries to provide mitigation for the losses. GLFT funds are used for

  • public education relating to the Great Lakes fishery;

  • research on the Great Lakes fishery, with special emphasis on rehabilitation of lake sturgeon and lake trout;

  • fishery habitat protection and restoration, with special emphasis on the Muskegon River Watershed; and

  • increased fishing access, including land acquisition and site enhancement, to the Great Lakes fishery for shore-based angling and tribal fishing.

Since 1998, the GLFT has awarded over $40 million in grants to enhance the Great Lakes fishery.

Each year the GLFT provides funding for creating, enhancing, or improving shore-based fishing access. Nonprofit organizations and government agencies may submit applications at any time. (Great Lakes Fisheries Trust. About GLFT. 2008. Lansing, MI. June 2, 2009.)

The Wege Foundation

"Make sure your giving is from the heart- not to make an impression."
Peter Wege, December 9, 2004

"The Wege Foundation celebrated the 40th anniversary of its founding on July 13, 2007, in Grand Rapids Michigan. But for our new web friends to learn how it began and who we are is to meet the man behind it. To understand the Wege Foundation is to understand the vision and the passion of its founder, Peter Melvin Wege. And Peter will be the first to tell you that he had the resources to start the family foundation thanks to the genius of his father, Peter Martin Wege.

Peter Melvin Wege was born in Grand Rapids on February 19, 1920, to Sophia Louise and Peter Martin Wege. In 1912, eight years before their only child was born, the senior Peter M. Wege had raised $75,000 to found Metal Office Furniture. That investment evolved into Steelcase, Inc., now the largest office-furniture manufacturer in the world.

Peter Wege started the Wege Foundation in 1967 out of his love for the Earth and all its people. In the book he wrote in 1998, Economicology: The Eleventh Commandment, Peter coined the word "Economicology" to sum up his environmental philosophy. A prosperous economy depends on a healthy ecology. Economy + Ecology = Economicology.

While the environment was Peter's earliest cause - and remains his best known—the Wege Foundation has four other major missions besides the ENVIRONMENT. EDUCATION. HEALTH. THE ARTS. COMMUNITY SERVICE. For Peter, the primary thread running through all the Foundation's missions is education.

He believes strongly that in order to address the problems of the future, we must raise the level of education in order to have an intelligent, caring stewardship of our natural resources. As Peter puts it,  "if we aren't here on Earth to solve problems, what are we here for?"

Peter Wege is not only a visionary and an author, but he is also a poet. Perhaps reading this poem he recently wrote will give you even more insight into the man behind the Wege Foundation.

Another Day

My steps are limited,
but my causes great.
It may take a little longer,
but the vision grows stronger.
The walks are lighter,
but the paths are brighter.
The Almighty is watching
for all mankind to
finally arrive at a
common ground and
saying, under His breath,,
what we hope He will say:
"The Planet is safe for another day."

- Peter Melvin Wege
(Wege, Peter. "Who We Are." 2004. Grand Rapids, MI.  June 2, 2009.)