News release: DNR accepting applications for coastal area grants

October 15, 2021

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is accepting grant applications now through Nov. 16 for projects through its Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program. Approximately $500,000 will be available for projects to begin fall 2022. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office for Coastal Management provides the funding for these grants.

Projects that positively impact the natural, economic, recreational or cultural resources of Minnesota’s coastal area are 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. 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 are eligible to apply.

The priorities for 2022 are projects that:

  • Improve or protect a waterbody on Minnesota’s Impaired Waters List or identified in One Watershed/One Plan, a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy or a county/Tribal water plan.
  • Focus on coastal resiliency to climate change and/or erosion. The projects must incorporate natural or nature-based features or techniques.
  • Prevent or mitigate the spread of invasive or non-native species and/or promote native species throughout the coastal area.

“Our grants provide resources and solutions for communities to address their coastal concerns,” said Amber Westerbur, coastal program manager. “For example, last year’s projects ranged from enhancing a coastal erosion map for communities to improving trout habitat in an urban creek to researching algal blooms in Lake Superior. Project proposers are encouraged to ask questions prior to submitting an application.”

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

Application materials and additional details are available on the Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program webpage.

Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program has dispersed more than $14 million in grants to more than 650 projects since 1999.

For more information about Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program, visit  Questions about the grant process can be directed to Cynthia Poyhonen, grants specialist, 218-834-1447 or [email protected].