Every year the DNR offers grants to help communities, agencies, and organizations balance protection of Lake Superior coastal resources with providing places for people to live, work, and play.
This year we have three funding opportunities.
- 1. Annual
We are no longer accepting applications for our Annual Grants. Applications were due on November 16, 2022.
- 2023 Annual Notice of Grant Opportunity
- 2023 Annual Application Template
- 2023 Annual Application Questions and Answers (updated 11/10/2023)
Annual grants are the program’s largest awards, ranging in size from $10,000 to $100,000. Grantees have 15 months to complete their projects, starting September 2023.
Local units of government can apply for a low-cost construction or acquisition project under an Annual grant. If you are interested in applying for such a project, please review the NOAA Section 306A Guidance and contact the grant specialist to ensure eligibility. The project must meet the identified objectives and uses explained in the guide. You will be responsible for completing the required documentation.
- 2. Short Term Action Request (STAR)
We are now accepting applications for STAR grants.
STAR grants are the program’s most popular opportunity. The grant funds are small ($2,500 - $10,000). Grantee have 6 months to complete their projects. Applications are due September 1, December 1, March 1, or June 1; a minimum of six months prior to the selected start date.
Acquisition projects or activities that involve moving dirt or destroying vegetation are not eligible for STAR grant funds. For example, you cannot install signposts, plant trees, pull invasive species, or build boardwalks or trails.
- 3. Small, Short-Term Capacity Grants
We are accepting applications for small, short-term Capacity grants for Coastal Management. We have four options:
- Conference and Training Support
- Climate Action
- Technology Upgrades
- Youth Education
Applications are due at least 30 days in advance of the event.
Resources for Grantees
- Guidance and Plans
- What is the DNR process for awarding grants?
The DNR awards the Annual and STAR grant funds through a competitive process. We will award eligible requests for conference support, as funding exists.
- What type of project could I do with a grant?
Coastal Habitat: Protect the coastal areas’ natural resources and habitats.
Coastal Hazards: Protect lives and property in the coastal area by minimizing risk from natural hazards such as storms, flooding and erosion.
Water Quality: Safeguard and restore water quality in Lake Superior and area streams.
Public Access: Create or enhance public access to Minnesota’s coast and Lake Superior.
Coastal Community Development: Help communities manage development along the Lake Superior coast in a sustainable way.
Coordination and Public Involvement: Collect, analyze, and share information that leads to better coastal land and water management by government and citizens.
- Where do projects have to take place?
The project’s principal activities must occur within the following:
- The Minnesota waters of Lake Superior
- Public (non-federal) land in Minnesota’s coastal area
In the event that any activities of the project take place outside of the coastal area, the applicant will need to demonstrate that the project will have direct substantial benefits within the coastal area.
For more information on Minnesota’s coastal area, use the interactive maps or call 218-834-1446.
- Which entities are eligible to receive a grant?
Cities, townships and counties within the coastal area
Regional planning agencies
State agencies (excluding the DNR)
Colleges and universities
Public school districts in the coastal area
Joint powers boards
Sanitary sewer boards
- What activities are NOT eligible for grant funds?
If your agency or organization is interested in applying, we encourage you to contact us. Early communication with the grants specialist can help ensure your project is eligible and that it keeps with the goals of the program.
Generally, the following activities are not eligible.
- Creation of wetlands or other habitat required as a condition of a permit or any other regulatory action
- Projects at wetland mitigation banks
- Maintenance and/or purchase of recreational equipment
- Harbor dredging
- Warehouse demolition
- Breakwater construction
- Large-scale hard structure erosion control projects/li>
- Beach re-nourishment
- Building marinas
- Infrastructure projects related to road, water and sewer line construction
- Improvements to buildings for rental, lodging or private property
- Where do the funds come from?
These are federal pass-through funds. The DNR receives the funds for Coastal Program grants from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, Office for Coastal Management.
- How will I get the funds?
This is a reimbursement grant program. The project sponsor must make the initial outlays for the project and then request reimbursement. Reimbursement requests must include supporting documentation of eligible expenses.
- Is match required?
Yes, all Coastal Program grants require some kind of local or state funding or work in-kind contributions. The amount varies; consult the grant notice for specific requirements.
- What has the Coastal Program funded in the past?
Since 2001, the DNR has awarded more than $12.5 million to over 600 projects. These projects occurred all along the coast and addressed all goals of Coastal Management. Contact the program for more information.
- Who can I contact if I have questions?
Direct your questions to Cynthia Poyhonen, Grants Specialist, (218) 834-1447