Enbridge announced 12 recipients of the 2015 Ecofootprint Grant Program.

The program will provide $1 million in funding this year to help protect and restore the natural environment in communities in North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin along the Sandpiper and Line 3 Replacement Projects.

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"We were pleased with the highly qualified applications we received and the locally-based environmental priorities that will be advanced with this grant program," said Lee Monthei, Enbridge Vice President of Major Projects Execution in a news release.

Programs receiving Ecofootprint grant funding for 2015 include:

• Aitkin County Soil and Water Conservation District.

• Buffalo-Red River Watershed District.

• Douglas County Land and Water Conservation Department.

• Dovetail Partners Inc.

• Minnesota Dragonfly Society.

• Minnesota Land Trust.

• Mississippi Headwaters Board.

• Montessori School of Duluth.

• Nelson County Park Board.

• Red Lake County SWCD.

• Wadena Soil and Water Conservation District.

• West Polk Soil and Water Conservation District.

"We had 29 organizations that requested more than $3,000,000 in funding. There were many quality projects submitted that met our criteria and addressed high priority community issues. The competition was extremely high for this year's available funding," said John Beckwith, Executive Director of the Minnesota Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils, administrator of Enbridge's Ecofootprint Grant Program.

Eligible organizations include nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations, Native American tribes, state government agencies, local governments and post-secondary academic institutions.

The $3 million grant program will continue through 2017 with up to $1 million available annually for the next two years. Interested applicants can learn more about the grant program by visitingwww.minnesotarcd.org or Enbridge.com/ecofootprintgrant for details.