Lake Erie Foundation (LEF) is a 501(c)(3) organization established in 2016 to sustain and protect the waters of Lake Erie now and in the future. Lake Erie Foundation (LEF) is Lake Erie’s advocate for economic sustainability, legal defense, education, outreach and innovative sustainable technology.

Our Mission and Vision:

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 a highly productive habitat for fish and wildlife.

LEF was recently awarded the 2023 Platinum Seal of Transparency on GuideStar!

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, 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 LEF is to implement The Lake Erie Plan. This is 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 goal is a high priority for LEF through at least 2025.

Each year, Lake Erie Foundation posts a list of our Activities and Accomplishments Report. Check it out and JOIN US in this effort!


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. LEF will closely monitor water quality reports for Lake Erie’s eastern basin and watersheds as well.

In Memoriam

Dave Spangler

LEF Board Members

Lee Alexakos

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company

About Lee

Larry Fletcher

Shores & Islands Ohio

About Larry

Ken Alvey

Lake Erie Marine Trades Association

About Ken

Matt Fisher

 Vice President

About Matt

Rick Graham

About Rick

Peter Huston

Program Manager at Great Lakes Islands Alliance

About Peter

Paul Klein

Vice President, Great Lakes Publishing

Publisher, Lake Erie Living Magazine

Publisher, Pulse Lorain County’s Magazine

Associate Publisher, Cleveland Magazine

About Paul

John Lipaj

True North Financial & Investment Planning

About John

Leonard Partin

Real Estate Broker & Auctioneer

About Leonard

James Stouffer, Jr

Catawba Cleveland Development Corp

About Jim

Dr. Chris Winslow

The Ohio State University

About Chris

Ron Wyss

Member at Large

About Ron

LEF Board Advisors

John Hull

Hull & Associates, Inc.

About John

Keleen McDevitt

About Keleen

Bill Myers

Lucas County Farm Bureau

About Bill

Al Nickles

About Al

LEF Staff

Mary Margaret Lavelle

Managing Director

About Mary Margaret

Business Sponsors

Champion of Lake Erie

Protector of Lake Erie

Preserver of Lake Erie

Guardian of Lake Erie

Grant support provided by: