MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsinites will soon have the opportunity to vie for funding to support projects that benefit lakes, rivers and wetlands. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) provides more than $6 million each year for surface water protection and restoration. To better understand what the surface water grant program funds, browse the recent projects highlighted in the Surface Water Grants story map.

“The surface water grant program supports a variety of projects to help achieve statewide surface water quality and habitat goals,” said Alison Mikulyuk, DNR Lakes and Rivers Team Leader. “If you are thinking about submitting a project, the time is now to reach out to your local lakes, rivers or AIS coordinator. They can review your pre-application and help you develop a competitive application.”

Eligible entities must submit a pre-application with a rough project outline by Sept. 2, 2020, and final grant applications are due on Nov. 1, 2020. The new application form is available online:

Who is eligible to apply for grant funding?
Eligible organizations include lake associations and districts, river management organizations, local units of government, nonprofits, schools and others. Individuals interested in applying must find a qualified organization willing to sponsor their project. Note that grant funds are cost-shared, so local entities must contribute money or donate other value to the project. The state typically covers 75% or 67% of project costs depending on the subprogram. Interested applicants can confirm eligibility with their local environmental grant specialist.

How to get started:
There is still plenty of time to apply. For more information on the grant program, including contact information for local grants coordinators and application materials, visit the Surface Water Grant Program’s website.

About the Surface Water Grant program:
The program offers competitive, cost-sharing grants for surface water protection and restoration. Grants are available to support surface water management from start to finish.

The DNR’s complete program guide is available on the Surface Water Grant Program’s website, and can also be downloaded directly here.

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