Inside this Issue:

Annual Reporting Deadline
Annual Program Reporting
Important Upcoming Dates
FY21 Clean Water Fund Grant Awards
Tip of the Quarter
Call for eLINK Testers
Returning Funds

Annual reporting deadline is February 1

BWSR's February 1st annual reporting deadline is right around the corner. A number of administrative activities are subject to this deadline, including:

  • Final reporting on grants that expired on December 31, 2020
  • Annual reports for most open grants
  • Annual program activity reports

BWSR's website hosts a number of resources to assist you with your reporting, which is done in the eLINK system. In addition to eLINK guidance videos and documents, the Grants Administration Manual, and materials on the Program Reporting page of BWSR's website, we recommend the following resources:

Reference your grant agreements and any amendments to determine the reporting requirements and deadlines as they apply to the specific grants your organization has received.

BWSR encourages grantees to begin working on reporting activities well before the deadline so that you can access help if you need it. Contact your Board Conservationist with grant-specific reporting questions, and direct eLINK-related questions to

Annual Program Reporting

In addition to eLINK grant reporting, several program reports are also due on February 1st. These include:

  • BWSR Ditch Buffer Strip Annual Report
  • BWSR WCA Annual Reporting Form
  • DNR Shoreland Activity

Reporting forms for WCA and Ditch Buffer Strip will be available on BWSR’s website. DNR and MPCA reporting forms and guidance will originate from those respective agencies.

Important upcoming dates

Feb 1:      Deadline for reporting on grants that expired December 31, 2020

Mar 15:    Website reporting deadline for grants with a website reporting component

Mar 15:    FY21 CWF work plan submittal deadline


FY21 CWF Competitive grant awards and processing

Clean Water Land and Legacy Logo

At its December 17th meeting, the BWSR Board approved $12.3 million in Clean Water Fund grants to fund 37 grants for the FY21 Projects and Practices, Projects and Practices – Drinking Water Subprogram, and Multipurpose Drainage Management programs. The amount requested during the open RFP was $19.7 million for the three programs.

Applications were reviewed by an interagency team comprised of staff from BWSR, DNR, MDA, MDH and MPCA.

Successful applicants were notified via email and have begun work planning in order to receive allocated grant dollars. The deadline to submit work plans for approval is March 15th, 2021. Grant agreements will be distributed in January and must be executed no later than April 6, 2021. Please ensure that the day-to-day contact for the organization and the grant is up to date in eLINK to ensure timely grant execution.

More details on workplan and reporting requirements can be found in their Grant Profiles:

FY21 Competitive Clean Water Grant Funding Awarded:

Program Name

Available Funds

Requested Funds

Awarded Funds

BWSR Projects and Practices

Up to $12,000,000



Projects and Practices - Drinking Water subprogram

Up to 20% of total Projects and Practices funding amount ($2,400,000)



BWSR Multipurpose Drainage Management

Up to $700,000 $647,878 $551,159

FY21 Clean Water Fund Timeline:

  • June 29, 2020: Application period opened
  • August 17, 2020: Application period closed
  • December 17, 2020: BWSR Board authorized grant awards
  • February 2021: BWSR grant agreements sent to recipients (proposed)  
  • March 15, 2021: Work plan submittal deadline
  • April 6, 2021: Grant execution deadline 
  • December 31, 2023: Grant expiration date (grant must be completed)       

Tip of the quarter

Q. Why is the number of workable hours for a full-time equivalent employee (FTE) set at 2,088?

A: The Legislative Coordinating Commission calculates FTEs based on a denominator of 2,088 workable hours in a year. See Minnesota Statutes 2015, section 3.303, subdivision 10.

Call for eLINK Testers

Development of the next generation of the eLINK system is now underway, and the success of the new application will depend on feedback from its users: you! Your time is valuable, so we will make every effort to keep tests short, and you will not be asked to participate more than once a month. Participation will always be voluntary. If you are interested in being part of the testing and focus group team, sign up at

Returning Funds

If you need to return grant funds at closeout, there are a couple of additional steps required. After completing all reporting--including final expenditures--within the workplan activities area of eLINK, create a progress report of type "Final report with funds to return to BWSR". Before submitting the report, be sure to generate a Returned Funds report. If you forget to generate this report at the progress report stage, you can also generate it from the Quick Reports box on the eLINK home screen.

Make out the check with returned funds to BWSR, and return the check along with the returned funds form to BWSR at the address indicated on the form. Returning the form with the check helps us attribute the funds to the right grant. 

BWSR does not need a copy of the financial form returned with the check; this should be uploaded into eLINK.