DNR surface water grant deadlines approaching

MADISON – Lake and river groups, as well as local governments, are encouraged to apply for surface water grants from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

The deadline for submitting planning grant applications is Dec. 10. The surface water grants program provides $6.5 million annually to local groups to protect and improve water quality and aquatic habitat and control aquatic invasive species.

DNR’s surface water planning grants are intended to help communities understand the condition of their lake, river or watershed, develop a management plan and prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. In addition to the Dec. 10, 2016 deadline for planning grants, Feb. 1, 2017 is the deadline for management grants.

“The surface water grant program provides organizations the resources they need to create effective plans for managing lakes and rivers,” said Shelly Thomsen, DNR’s lakes and rivers team leader, who coordinates the grant effort. “The grants enable lake and river groups and local government to take steps toward improving or protecting the health of their local water bodies. The success of past grant recipients has made this a popular and competitive program.”

Organizations interested in applying for the DNR surface water grant program are encouraged to contact their local aquatic invasive species, lake or river coordinator as soon as possible to discuss project ideas. Local grant coordinators are familiar with both the grant process and the issues affecting local areas.

“The involvement of your local lake or river coordinator is key to writing and submitting a competitive grant application,” Thomsen said.

For more information on the lakes, rivers and aquatic invasive species grant program, including contact information for local coordinators and application materials, visit the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, and search “surface water grants.”