Lake Management Planning Grants - large and small scale lakes

New deadline date! Lake Planning grants are now due on December 10.

Determining Local Cost Share Clarified

This cost share guidance [PDF] is provided for grant development purposes and clarifies the following:

  • Training vs. Education
  • GPS units

The purpose of the lake management grants is to collect and analyze information needed to protect and restore lakes and their watersheds.

Small scale planning primary objectives include: public education and awareness, obtaining basic information on lake use and conditions and enhancing organizational capacity. These will be protection-oriented, often volunteer-led efforts that can be used to develop a foundation for lake management efforts or updating existing plans.

Large scale projects are intended to address the needs of larger lakes and lakes with complex and technical planning challenges. The intent of these projects is to create a land management plan, a plan that may require more than one grant to complete.

Who can apply

Counties, towns, cities, villages, tribes, qualified non-profit conservation organizations, qualified lake associations, qualified school districts, public inland lake protection and rehabilitation districts, town sanitary districts and other local governmental units as defined in Ch. 66.0301(1)(a), Wis. Stats., that are established for the purpose of lake management, are eligible to apply for funding to collect and analyze information needed to protect and restore lakes and their watersheds.

In order for nonprofit conservation organizations and lake associations to apply, they must be a qualified organization. Please check with your DNR regional environmental grant specialist to see if your group is currently eligible to apply, otherwise please review the qualification requirements [PDF].


Small scale eligible projects

  • Lake Monitoring projects: Water quality, aquatic plant or other monitoring activities that do not fit into a large scale planning project. Ideal for issue specific investigations or post project evaluation. Organizations interested in basic lake water quality (trophic state) monitoring should first contact their Regional Lake Coordinator about opportunities under Self-Help Citizen Lake Monitoring program.
  • Lake Education projects: Activities that will assist management units in collecting and disseminating existing information about lakes for the purpose of broadening the understanding of lake use, lake ecosystem conditions and lake management techniques.
  • Organization development projects: Activities that will assist management units in the formation of goals and objectives for the management of a lake or lakes.
  • Studies, assessments and other activities needed to develop management goals: Activities needed to implement or augment management goals or an existing plan for a lake or lakes; for expanded monitoring; or a combination of the activities listed above.

Large scale eligible projects

  • Gathering and analysis of physical, chemical, and biological information on lakes.
  • Describing present and potential land uses within lake watersheds and on shorelines.
  • Reviewing jurisdictional boundaries and evaluating ordinances that relate to zoning, sanitation, or pollution control or surface use.
  • Assessments of fish, aquatic life, wildlife, and their habitats. Gathering and analyzing information from lake property owners, community residents, and lake users.
  • Developing, evaluating, publishing, and distributing alternative courses of action and recommendations in a lake management plan.


Applications must be received in DNR regional offices and postmarked no later than December 10.


Water Quality Lab Work

State Lab of Hygiene (SLOH) costs: If your project includes the collection of water chemistry samples and analysis at the State Lab of Hygiene, you must complete a projected SLOH costs spreadsheet and submit it with your application. This form is not included in the application packet. Contact your DNR Lake Coordinator for help in filling out this form.

Laboratory Test Request Form: The laboratory test request form is an important link between the laboratory and field personnel. The laboratory relies on the test request form to obtain the information necessary to prepare and analyze the sample properly. For more information on completing the laboratory test request form contact your DNR Lake Coordinator


Contact information
For project eligibility questions, contact:
Your DNR regional lake coordinator
For project eligibility questions, contact:
Your DNR regional environmental grants specialist
Last revised: Thursday July 31 2014