Inside this Issue:

Important upcoming dates
Annual reporting deadline
   Tell Your Story! Grant reporting for Clean Water Fund grants
Annual program reporting
Information on tools and estimators for annual reporting
eLINK virtual office hours
Returning funds
FY24 Clean Water Fund grant awards
Soil Health Supplemental Staffing RFP open
Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture Pilot RFP open
Cooperative Weed Management RFP open
Multipurpose Drainage Management RFP open
Melissa King, Agency Tribal Liaison
Tip of the quarter

Important upcoming dates

Feb 1:        Deadline for reporting on grants that expire December 31, 2023

Feb 8:        Funding request period closes for Soil Health Supplemental Staffing grants & Alliance to Advance Climate-Smart Agriculture grants

Feb 21:      Funding request period closes for Cooperative Weed Management grants

Feb 2024:  BWSR grant agreements sent to recipients

March 1:  Deadline for submitting quarterly funding requests for the Multipurpose Drainage Management grants

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

Mar 20:    Work plan submittal deadline for Fiscal Year (FY) 24 CWF Projects and Practices; Projects and Practices - Drinking Water Subprogram Grants

Apr 17:    Grant execution deadline for FY24 CWF Projects and Practices; Projects and Practices - Drinking Water Subprogram Grants

Annual reporting deadline is February 1st

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

BWSR's website hosts several resources to assist you with your eLINK reporting, we recommend the following resources:

eLINK guidance videos
Adding Activities and Creating a Work Plan in eLINK
Progress Reporting in eLINK

eLINK Cookbook
Managing Grant Activities and Submitting a Work Plan
Progress Reporting
Mapping Activity Details

Additional Resources
Grants Administration Manual
Program Reporting
Grants Expiration Dates
eLINK Reporting at a Glance
Grant Profiles

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

      Tell Your Story! Grant Reporting for Clean Water Fund Grants

Did you know that all BWSR Clean Water Fund (CWF) grant outcomes are publicly available on the Minnesota's Legacy website?

Please keep the public audience in mind as you complete annual or final reporting on your CWF grants. The Activity Details capture quantitative information (practices and indicators), while the Results can be used to clearly and succinctly tell the story of what was accomplished through the grant.

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.

Information on Tools and Estimators for Annual Reporting

Information on a variety of models, tools, and estimators that can be used for eLINK annual reporting can be found on the BWSR website on the Water Quality Tools and Models page. Contact BWSR Modeling and Outcomes Coordinator Dr. Udai B. Singh (, for technical support.

eLINK virtual office hours

Looking for a little one-on-one assistance with grant reporting this year? Schedule a 30-minute appointment with our Grants and eLINK support staff! We will be offering office hours on the following dates:

Jan. 16  9 am-3 pm
Jan. 19  9 am-3 pm
Jan. 23  9 am-3 pm

Book office hours here and indicate which date(s) and time(s) you would prefer. You will be able to book up to 24 hours before the dates provided. We will confirm the date and time, and provide a Teams link for the appointment.

Returning funds

If you need to return grant funds at closeout, please follow the additional steps below. After completing all reporting--including final expenditures in eLINK: 

  1. Answer these questions “Is this a final report?” and “Are you returning funds?”
  2. Complete the following fields confirm the amount to be returned , enter check # (if known) , narrative 
  3. Check the attestation box 
  4. Save
  5. Generate Returned Funds Form
    If you forget to generate this form on the progress report page, you can still generate it from the progress report page or the generate reports on either the eLINK grant activities tab or the progress reporting tab
  6. Submit
  7. Make the returned funds check payable to BWSR (return the check and returned funds form to the address listed on the form). Returning the form with the check helps us attribute the funds to the right grant

FY24 CWF competitive grant awards and processing

Clean Water Land and Legacy Logo

At its December 14th meeting, the BWSR Board approved 32 grants for the FY24 CWF Projects and Practices, Projects and Practices - Drinking Water Subprogram for a total of $10,769,612. The amount requested during the open RFP was approximately $23 million for the two programs.

If you were a successful applicant, you should have been notified via email to begin work planning. 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:

FY24 Competitive Clean Water Grant Funding Awarded:

Program Name

Available Funds

Requested Funds

Awarded Funds
Projects and Practices$10,769,612$22,002,643$9,287,612
Projects and Practices - Drinking Water Subprogram$1,482,000$1,514,200$1,482,000

Soil Health Supplemental Staffing RFP now open through February 8, 2024

This competitive CWF Grant is to provide supplemental staffing capacity for implementation of soil health systems. Eligible applicants include Soil and Water Conservation Districts. How to apply

Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture Pilot RFP now open through February 8, 2024

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 for 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, which will pay 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 the transition to new practices, and future climate policy costs. How to apply

Cooperative Weed Management RFP now open through February 21, 2024

The Cooperative Weed Management program provides financial assistance to develop and sustain Cooperative Weed Management Areas that control emerging weed threats and manage natural areas and conservation lands through an integrated pest management and ecosystem approach. Eligible applicants include Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Counties and Tribal Governments. How to apply

Multipurpose Drainage Management RFP now open through March 1, 2024

The Multipurpose Drainage Management RFP opened with $900,000 for FY24 and awards from the first batching period are expected soon. 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. How to Apply

Melissa King, Agency Tribal Liaison

Melissa was appointed to the Agency Tribal Liaison position in November. Melissa has been with BWSR for five years, serving as a Board Conservationist in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area and most recently as the agency’s Water Programs Coordinator. In the role as BWSR’s Tribal Liaison, Melissa will provide guidance and leadership to ensure that BWSR’s work is guided by principles of respect for tribal sovereignty and self-government.

Melissa is a member of the Odaawaa-Zaaga'iganiing, Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe and has an educational background in conservation, land use planning, and GIS and cartography. Her love of the great outdoors and passion for protecting the environment stems from her family, culture, and upbringing. Melissa is appreciative of the opportunity to bring her knowledge and values to this role. She looks forward to continuing to develop relationships to help bring awareness of tribal values and concerns into agency initiatives and policy making, and to identify possible opportunities for the protection of land and water with tribal communities. Contact Melissa (, for more information or questions.

Tip of the quarter

Q: When calculating billing rates for the next year and there is a rent increase, can the known rent increase amount be included as a facilities cost?

A: Yes, known actual costs for the current year can be included in the current year’s billing rate calculations. For example, if rent is increasing per a signed lease agreement, the expense can be included in the current year’s billing rate calculations.