BWSR offers a variety of competitive and noncompetitive grant programs to its local government partners. These funds may be appropriated through the Clean Water Fund, Lessard Sams Outdoor Heritage Council, the general fund, or direct appropriations.

When funding opportunities are available through BWSR, opportunities to submit competitive or noncompetitive funding requests will be listed on this page.

Multipurpose Drainage Management RFP

The Multipurpose Drainage Management RFP is now open, with $900,000 in funding available for FY 24. This competitive grant program funds multipurpose drainage management practices, targeting critical pollution source areas to reduce erosion and sedimentation, reduce peak flows and flooding, and improve water quality, while protecting drainage system efficiency and reducing drainage system maintenance for priority Chapter 103E drainage systems.
 
Applications must be submitted through eLINK, BWSR’s grants management system. Please read the RFP and policy documents thoroughly to ensure eligibility, and that all application requirements are met.  Applicants may contact their Board Conservationist for additional questions or assistance in submitting an application.
 
How to Apply: Proposals must be submitted via eLINK. Other required program information and the available funding amount can be found here Multipurpose Drainage Management Program
 
Application deadlines: Applications for FY24 funding will be accepted on a rolling basis through June 3, 2024, or until all funds are awarded. Submittals will be reviewed and funding decisions made at the following quarterly intervals:
 
  • December 1, 2023
  • March 1, 2024
  • June 3, 2024
                             
FY25 funding will be made available starting July 1, 2024. Updates to application deadlines will be made for FY25 once those funds are available.
 
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Alliance to Advance Climate-Smart Agriculture Pilot

This competitive grant program will fund up to 10 soil and water conservation districts for outreach, recruitment, and enrollment of qualifying producers in the Alliance to Advance Climate-Smart Agriculture (“the Alliance”) Pilot Program, technical assistance to producers, and verification and reporting of conservation practices implemented. The Alliance Pilot Program is a multi-state partnership with Virginia Polytechnic University (Virginia Tech) funded through the USDA Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities Program.  In participating districts, the program will provide farmers and ranchers who voluntarily implement conservation practices with incentive payments of $100 per acre or per animal unit, that reflect the benefits they deliver to soil health, water, air and climate. Payments are intended to exceed implementation costs, economic losses during transition to new practices, and future climate policy costs.

How to apply: Applications must be submitted through eLINK, BWSR’s grants management system.

Application deadline: March 11, 2024 at 4:30 pm. Late applications, or applications not submitted via eLINK, will not be considered.

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Water Quality and Storage Grants

This competitive grant program provides financial assistance to model, design, and construct projects and practices that will control water volume and rates to protect infrastructure, improve water quality and related public benefits, and mitigate climate change impacts.  Eligible applicants are local units of government and tribal governments.  Funding for this application period is $3,000,000, with up to $500,000 available for modeling and conceptual design applications.  Please read the RFP and policy documents to understand changes to this program from previous years.  

How to apply: Applications must be submitted through eLINK, BWSR’s grants management system.

Application deadline: April 11, 2024 at 4:30pm.  Late applications, or applications not submitted via eLINK, will not be considered. 

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Performance Review and Assistance Program Grant

The Performance Review and Assistance Program (PRAP) provides grants to local governments who seek to improve efficiency and effectiveness in delivering and executing planned organizational goals and objectives. Local government units do not need to be the subject of a previous PRAP performance review to apply for these funds, but with limited funding, priority is given to recommended activities or strategies from previous reviews. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact their Board Conservationist and/or Don Bajumpaa, PRAP Coordinator, at don.bajumpaa@state.mn.us for additional information on this program and for assistance in submitting an application.

How to Apply: Proposals must be submitted electronically to Don Bajumpaa at don.bajumpaa@state.mn.us

Application deadline: Applications submitted on an ongoing basis as funding is available.

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Wellhead Protection Partner Grants Program (Pilot)

The MN BWSR will be conducting a second round of grant funding for the Wellhead Protection Partner Grants Program (Pilot). This second round will hope to build upon projects currently underway to assist local government units in addressing their sensitive wellhead areas through land protection options such as fee title acquisition or long-term easements.   Only High or Very High vulnerable Wellhead Protection Areas as mapped in an approved Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Wellhead Protection Plan are eligible to apply.  This grant program is offered in conjunction with ongoing BWSR protection programs such as CREP and RIM where sensitive wellheads remain a high priority for enrollment. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Sharon Doucette at 651-539-2567 or Sharon.Doucette@state.mn.us for additional information on this program and for assistance in submitting an application.

How to Apply: Proposals must be submitted electronically to Sharon Doucette at Sharon.Doucette@state.mn.us.

Application deadline: Applications due the last day of each month as funding is available.

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