Minnesota's Coastal Program Grants

Every year, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR) offers grants to help communities, agencies, and organizations solve issues that impact Lake Superior and its coast.  We provide two types of grants:

  • Annual: $10,000 - $100,000 grants, projects completed in 15-18 months, awarded annually in July.
  • Short Term Action Request (STAR):  $2,500 - $7,500 grants, projects completed in six months, no construction or land acquisition.

MNDNR awards the grant funds through a competitive process.  Funding comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  MNDNR will distribute funds on a reimbursement basis (after costs have been incurred).

Since 2001, the MNDNR has awarded more than $12.5 million for coastal program projects.


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What type of project could I do with a grant?

Your project must be located in Minnesota’s coastal area, be action-oriented, and align with one of the following goals (of the national Coastal Zone Management Act):

  • 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 improve public access to outdoor recreational opportunities within Minnesota’s coastal area.
  • 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.

What activities are ineligible for grant funds?

  • 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
  • Beach re-nourishment
  • Building marinas
  • Infrastructure projects related to road, water and sewer line construction
  • Improvements to buildings for rental, lodging or private property

Which entities are eligible to receive a grant?

  • Cities, townships and counties within the coastal area
  • Area-wide agencies
  • Regional planning agencies
  • State agencies (excluding MNDNR)
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Colleges and universities
  • Public school districts in the coastal area
  • Conservation districts
  • Port authorities
  • Tribal governments
  • Joint powers boards
  • Sanitary sewer boards

Are you accepting applications?

We are accepting STAR applications.

Annual

We are not currently accepting applications.

If you are applying for funds for a construction or land acquisition project, please review the NOAA Section 306A Guidance as you will be responsible for completing the required documentation.

STAR

We are currently accepting applications for STAR Grants.

  • Applications must be emailed to [email protected]te.mn.us by 3:00 pm on September 1, 2017; March 1, 2018;or June 1, 2018
  • We will review STAR applications three times between July 1, 2017 and June 30,2018.
  • Project start date must be March 1, September 1, or December 1, 2018.
  • Reimbursement will be made once, upon completion of the project.
  • Final report, products, and reimbursement request are due 30 days after grant expiration.
  • You must match 20% of the grant request in non-federal funds.

Activities that involve moving dirt or destroying vegetation are not eligible for STAR Grant funds.  For example, you cannot erect signs, plant plants, pull invasive species, or build boardwalks or trails.

Who can I contact if I have questions?

You can direct your questions to Cynthia Poyhonen, Grants Specialist (218) 834-1447 or [email protected].

Resources for Grantees