The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Surface Water Grant Program is accepting applications from eligible organizations to support projects that protect and restore Wisconsin waterbodies.
More than $6 million is available to provide cost-sharing grants to support projects in the following areas:
- Education, outreach and organization development
- Planning for lakes, rivers and watersheds
- Lake protection planning and implementation
- Restoration of surface water, shorelands and wetlands
- Management plan implementation
- Aquatic invasive species prevention and control
- Land acquisition/conservation easements
Eligible organizations include lake associations and districts, river management organizations, local government units, nonprofits, schools and others. Individuals should partner with eligible organizations willing to sponsor a project. The state typically covers 75% or 67% of project costs, depending on the subprogram. If you have not confirmed your eligibility in the last 10 years, reach out now to your local environmental grant specialist.
To get started, download a copy of the grant application from our Surface Water webpage under the “Applying” tab. Fill out the sections labeled “pre-application” and submit it to DNRSurfaceWaterGrants@Wisconsin.gov by Sept. 2. This rough project outline and draft budget will help us understand what you are looking to propose and help us provide technical assistance and feedback before the complete application is due Nov. 1.
The DNR Surface Water Application Guide is a comprehensive user manual for the program. This document has been updated for the 2021-2022 grant cycle. It is organized chronologically to explain how to navigate the grant program from application to closing. Start by reading Section 1, which contains enough high-level introductory information to get you started.