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March 3, 2015

Lake grants help fund activities like staffing boat landings to inspect boats for invasive species and conduct educational campaigns.Lake grants help fund activities like staffing boat landings to inspect boats for invasive species and conduct educational campaigns.

MADISON -- Statewide lake and river groups as well as community organizations will receive $2.3 million in grants from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to develop management plans and improve water quality.

The current round of surface water grants allows organizations to better understand issues surrounding local water resources and create strategies to address problems in the future. Activities funded during this round of grants include the development of lake management plans, shoreline assessments and aquatic invasive species prevention.

"The funding program gives organizations the resources they need to create effective plans for managing their lakes and rivers," said Shelly Thomsen, the DNR lakes and rivers team leader who is coordinating the grant effort. "The successes of past grant recipients has made this a popular and competitive program."

The grants are funded through a tax on fuel used by watercraft and have been a stable source of funding for lake and river management projects.

The current grant cycle represents the first since the lakes and rivers grants program launched a new online submission system and evaluation process. The online submission forms made completing and submitting grants easier than ever, while the new evaluation effort included more experts in various lake and river management disciplines across the state.

Grants were awarded in the following categories:

Specific project activities funded this round include developing comprehensive lake management plans, surveying aquatic plants, supporting regional aquatic invasive species programs and supporting the Clean Boats and Clean Waters Program throughout the state.

Projects funded with these grants will be implemented over the next three years with the help of DNR staff and local partners. Thomsen said the projects continue DNR's history of working with citizens to manage our natural resources for the benefit of all.

For more information on the Lakes and Rivers Grant program and to see what grants were funded [PDF], search the DNR website,, for "surface water grants" and click on the "related links."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Shelly Thomsen, DNR lakes and rivers team leader, 608-266-0502,; Carroll Schaal, DNR lakes and rivers section chief, 608-261-6423,

Last Revised: Tuesday, March 03, 2015

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