Minnesota DNR accepting applications for coastal area grants

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is accepting grant applications through Nov. 13 for project funding through Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program. About $500,000 will be available for projects to begin fall 2021.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office for Coastal Management provides the funding for these grants.

The priorities for 2021 are projects that:

Improve or protect the water quality of Lake Superior and coastal area streams.
Reduce future damage from coastal hazards such as climate change, flooding and erosion.
Serve diverse populations, including but not limited to American Indians, LGBTQ communities, people with disabilities, veterans, and rural or low-income areas.

Projects that positively impact the natural, economic, recreational or cultural resources of Minnesota’s coastal area are also eligible for funding. The coastal area covers portions of Carlton, Cook, Lake and St. Louis counties, Fond du Lac and Grand Portage reservations and the Minnesota waters of Lake Superior.

Applications may be submitted by local, state and tribal governments, nonprofit organizations, area-wide and regional planning agencies, colleges and universities, public school districts, port authorities, joint powers boards and sanitary sewer districts.

“Our previous grant partners have put these dollars to good use in their communities and have created unique solutions to coastal concerns,” said Amber Westerbur, coastal program manager. “Recent grant awards have created sustainable access to the lake and helped communities address concerns like runoff from storms and erosion.”

Project proposers are encouraged to discuss their ideas with program staff before submitting an application.

Grant requests can range from $10,000 to $100,000. Applicants must provide dollar-for-dollar match from a nonfederal source.

Application materials and additional details are available at mndnr.gov/mlscp.

Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program has dispersed more than $14 million in grants to over 600 projects since 1999.

For more information, visit mndnr.gov/mlscp. Contact Cynthia Poyhonen, grants specialist, at 218-834-1447 or mlscp.dnr@state.mn.us with questions about the grant process.