News release: Minnesota DNR accepting letters of intent for Coastal Program grants

August 15, 2023

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is accepting letters of intent for projects seeking funding through its Lake Superior Coastal Program. Letters of intent are due by 4:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15. 

Projects that positively impact the natural, economic, recreational or cultural resources of Minnesota’s coastal area are eligible for funding.  Grants will be awarded in the following categories:

  • Administrative grants for planning, managing or researching coastal resources, with grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000.
  • Coastal Resource Improvement grants for low-cost construction or acquisition, with grants ranging from $25,000 to $150,000.

Approximately $600,000 will be available for projects to begin in fall 2024. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office for Coastal Management provides the funding for these grants. Applicants must provide dollar-for-dollar match from a non‐federal source.

"We have two changes to our annual application process this year,” Coastal Program Manager Amber Westerbur said. “The first is soliciting letters of intent. These brief letters allow applicants to outline their project idea and gauge interest without spending the time and energy upfront completing a full application. The second is an increase in funding for low-cost construction and acquisition projects. As costs increase, we're happy we can provide more financial support to these kinds of projects."

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.

A letter of intent template and other application materials can be found on the Minnesota DNR website. Additional details about the program 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.

Questions about the grant process can be directed to Cynthia Poyhonen, grants specialist, 218‐834‐1447 or [email protected].

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