River Protection Planning & River Protection Management Grants

New Application Deadlines!

Program Name Application Due Date
River Planning December 10
River Management February 1

River planning grants assist in the formation of a qualified river management organization or in strengthening an existing organization; protection or improvement of rivers and their ecosystems; river improvement education projects; assessments and plan development.

River management grants are available for purchasing land or conservation easements, local ordinance development, installation of nonpoint source pollution control practices and river restoration activities. They may also be used for education, planning and design activities necessary for completion of a management project.

Who can apply

Eligible applicants

Counties, cities, towns, villages, tribes, other local governmental units as defined in s. 66.0131(1)(a), Wis. Stats. [exit DNR], qualified river management organizations, and qualified nonprofit conservation organizations are eligible to apply.

In order for nonprofit conservation organizations and lake associations to apply, they must be a qualified organization. Review the qualification requirements or check with your DNR regional environmental grants specialist.


Eligible projects

Eligible planning projects
  • Organizational development for existing river protection/improvement organizations
  • Assistance with the formation of a qualified river management organization
  • Public education projects
  • Planning and assessment projects such as:
    • development of management strategies, plans, and special project designs to identify appropriate river protection projects;
    • collection and assessment of water quality, water quantity, and biological/environmental data;
    • collection of sociological data necessary for the development of a river management plan;
    • description and mapping of existing and potential land and water resource conditions;
    • development of local ordinances to control activities that may impact the riverine ecosystems; and
    • dissemination of information obtained during the project.
Eligible management projects
  • Purchase of land or conservation easements
  • Development of local regulations or ordinances to protect or improve water quality
  • Installation of practices to control nonpoint source pollution
  • Restoration projects including instream or shoreland habitat and protection
  • DNR approved activities needed to implement planning recommendations
  • Education, planning, and design activities necessary for the implementation of a management project.

Ineligible projects

The following projects are not eligible for funding under this grant.

  • Capital improvement projects
  • Dam repair and operation
  • Purchase of property on which a dam is located (unless for the purpose of facilitating dam removal)
  • Dredging
  • Design, installation, operation, or maintenance of sanitary sewers, treatment plants, or onsite sewerage systems.

Applications are reviewed and ranked by regional staff and ranked according to statewide priorities.


Annual Application deadlines:

  • River Management - February 1
  • River Planning - 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 river coordinator
For project cost questions, contact:
Your DNR regional environmental grants specialist
Last revised: Monday October 13 2014