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Surface Water Grants

Welcome to the new streamlined page for surface water grant programs, including: Lake Management Planning, Lake Protection & Classification, River Protection, River Planning and Aquatic Invasive Species Control. Information for all these grant programs is below.
**NEW** Surface Water Grant Application under the "How to Apply" tab.

Updates to the Surface Water Grant Program:

Applications

  • Updated Surface Water Grant application form
  • Updated Clean Boats, Clean Waters application form

Surface Water Application Guide

  • A management plan or update to a management plan must have been approved by the DNR within five years of the year in which the grant application is submitted for Lake Management Plan Implementation and Aquatic Invasive Species Established Population Control projects.
  • The Clean Boats, Clean Waters program has been updated to allow the minimum 200 hours of boat inspection time to be used at up to two landings.

If you have further questions, contact your regional AIS/Lakes/Rivers Coordinator [PDF].

New application deadlines

December 10 - Planning February 1 - Management Year-Round
  • Lake Management Planning
    • Small Scale
    • Large Scale
  • Lake Classification & Ordinance Development
  • Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)
    • Education, Prevention & Planning
    • Clean Boats Clean Waters
  • River Planning
  • Lake Protection
    • Land/Easement Acquisition
    • Wetland & Shoreline Habitat Restoration
    • Lake Management Plan Implementation
    • Healthy Lakes Project
  • AIS Established Population Control
  • River Protection
    • River Management
    • Land/Easement Acquisition
  • AIS Early Detection & Response
  • AIS Maintenance & Containment

Who can apply

Who can apply

Applicant Types AIS Grants Lakes Grants* Rivers Grants
Counties, cities, towns and villages
Federally recognized tribal governing body
Other local governmental units as defined in s. 66.0131(1)(a), Wis Stats.
Public Inland Lake Protection & Rehabilitation Districts
Town sanitary districts
Qualified lake associations  
Qualified river management organizations  
Qualified school districts (not for Lake Protection Grants)  
Private and public colleges, universities and technical schools    
Qualified nonprofit conservation organizations
Qualified nonprofit organizations    
State and federal natural resource agencies    
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) licensed hydroelectric corporations    

*Exception: Only counties may apply for Lake Classification Grants.

Details

Details

Your local DNR Lake or River Grant Coordinator can help determine which program(s) might be best for your project.

Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Prevention and Control Grants

AIS Prevention and Control Grants [PDF] share the costs of aquatic invasive species education programs that teach about the threats posed by invasive species and how to prevent and control them. These grants also help with projects that prevent new introductions, control existing populations, and restore habitat. here are five Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention and Control grants subprograms:

  • Education, Prevention and Planning Projects (including Clean Boats Clean Waters)
  • Early Detection and Response Projects
  • Established Population Control Projects
  • Maintenance and Containment Projects
  • Research and Demonstration Projects
Lake Management Planning Grants

Lake Management Planning Grants [PDF] help pay for developing management plans to protect and restore lakes and their watersheds. Often, these plans turn into projects funded with Lake Protection grants. There are two categories of lake management planning grants: small-scale and large-scale.

Lake Protection Grants

Lake Protection Grants [PDF] assist eligible applicants with implementation of lake protection and restoration projects that protect or improve water quality, habitat or the elements of lake ecosystems. There are four basic Lake Protection subprograms:

  • Fee simple or Easement Land Acquisition
  • Wetland and Shoreline Habitat Restoration
  • Lake Classification and Local Ordinance Development
  • Lake Plan implementation
  • Healthy Lakes
Lake Classification and Local Ordinance Development Grants

Lake Classification and Local Ordinance Development Grants [PDF] help counties study lakes to assign them different management classifications in order to guide plans to protect lakes and their watersheds that use both regulatory and management strategies. Grants also help implement those plans.

Local Ordinance Development grants help any unit of local government develop local regulations or ordinance projects to protect or improve a lake's water quality or its natural ecosystem. Lake Classification and Local Ordinance Development projects can be funded separately or jointly.

River Protection Grants

River Protection Grants [PDF] provide assistance in the formation of river management organizations and provides support and guidance to local organizations that are interested in helping to manage and protect rivers, particularly where resources and organizational capabilities may be limited. In addition, this grant program protects rivers by:

  • providing information on riverine ecosystems;
  • improving river system assessment and planning;
  • increasing local understanding of the causes of river problems; and
  • assisting in implementing management activities that protect or restore river ecosystems.

The River Protection Grants have three subprograms:

  • River Planning
  • River Management
  • Land/Easement Acquisition

How to apply

Application materials

Trouble downloading forms? Read our form troubleshooting tips [PDF].

Suggested timeline (for grants due December 10)

June/July Meet with your Lake/River Group to brainstorm potential grant project
September Meet with your DNR Regional Lake/River/AIS Biologist [PDF] to discuss project idea
October (or before) Identify project partners and meet with them to discuss partnership opportunities (in-kind donation of cash, volunteer time, etc)
November (at the latest) Complete draft grant application [PDF] and submit to DNR Regional Lake/River/AIS Biologist and/or Environmental Grant Specialist for review
December Email completed grant application and attachments to DNR Surface Water Grants

How to submit materials

Preferred method - electronic submission

Email completed forms to DNR Surface Water Grants.

Alternate method - mail or hand-delivered submissions

Mail to:
Department of Natural Resources - CF/2
PO Box 7921
Madison WI 53707-7921

Hand deliver to:
101 S Webster St
Madison WI 53703

Additional materials

Webinars

Introducing Healthy Lakes Initiative: Funding for Lakeshore Best Practices Presentation Webinar

It's going to get easier to install lakeshore best practices in 2015! Learn more about our new Healthy Lakes initiative, which includes technical assistance/information and potential grant funding for implementing projects like Fish Sticks, rain gardens and native plantings.

Help

Contact information
For questions about project eligibility, contact your regional Coordinator. For questions about eligible project costs, contact your regional environmental grants specialist.
Contacts [PDF]
Last revised: Tuesday October 25 2016