Shoreland grants for aquatic restoration projects

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is making $225,000 available for grant proposals for restoring native aquatic habitat across the state.  Individual grants can range from $25,000 to $100,000 and are available to  watershed districts, other local units of government, conservation groups and lake associations to conduct aquatic habitat restoration projects with native plants to improve fish and wildlife habitat.

Projects on private properties will have at least 75 percent of the frontage restored with an adjacent buffer zone that is at least 25 feet deep or wide. The focus of these projects must be on reestablishing vegetation for fish and wildlife habitat, Funds cannot be used for rock riprap stabilization or permanent wave breaks.

Grants recipients will be reimbursed for a maximum of 75 percent of the total project costs.  Applicants must be able to fund at least 25 percent of the total project costs from non-state sources. Matching funds may be cash, volunteer labor, and in-kind contributions of materials, equipment and services.

“This is an opportunity for lake associations, local communities and conservation organizations to help enhance native shoreline vegetation and fish habitat in their local lakes, streams and rivers,” said John Hiebert, DNR lake habitat consultant. “Since 1999, more than 350 restoration projects have been funded, restoring more than 136,000 feet of shoreline.”

Applications for grants are available at: or by calling the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367. Completed grant applications are due Friday, Nov. 9.

Successful applicants will be notified in February and funds will be made available after July 1, 2013.

The grants are funded from state lottery proceeds deposited in the Heritage Enhancement Account. Grants are administered through the DNR Fish and Wildlife Division. Projects are selected and designed with guidance from local DNR fisheries managers.

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