Watershed project funding
Funding opportunities for watershed projects around the state are available through federal and state funds. These funds are awarded through either competitive watershed grants (such as Federal Section 319 and State Clean Water Partnership) or non-competitive (for Clean Water Fund dollars) processes.
For information about other water-related funding opportunities at the MPCA, please visit Financial assistance grants and loans programs.
About the funding system
The MPCA has access to state and federal funding sources to assist with a variety of watershed projects. Although the amount of available funds and the eligibility requirements may differ from fund to fund, there are some elements of the system that remain fairly universal.
- Roles and Responsibilities (wq-s1-14)
- Overview of Watershed Project Funding in Minnesota
- Section 319 Grants
MPCA applies annually to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) for Clean Water Act, Section 319(h) grant funds. A significant portion of the funds provided by U.S. EPA are then competitively awarded (passed through) to local government units (LGUs) and other groups for work on projects that address nonpoint-source water pollution. Fund availability varies each year.
- Clean Water Partnership
The Minnesota State Legislature appropriates funds each biennium (two-year state funding cycle) to the MPCA for Clean Water Partnership projects. The funds are awarded (passed through) to local government units (LGUs) and other groups for work on projects that address non-point source water pollution. Fund availability varies each year.
- Clean Water Legacy
The Clean Water Legacy Act (CWLA) was established by the Minnesota State Legislature in 2006. Funds are appropriated each biennium (two-year state funding cycle) to help protect, restore and preserve the quality of Minnesota’s surface waters. Fund availability varies each year. Appropriations through the Clean Water Legacy Act are used to fund a variety of projects.
- Surface Water Assessment: CWLA
Grants are available to groups interested in monitoring the water quality of lakes and/or streams and for groups interested in providing statewide water quality training opportunities.
- TMDL Development: CWLA
Funds are awarded to local government units (LGUs) or other groups for the purpose of developing TMDL reports that address water quality impairments.
- TMDL Implementation: CWLA
Grants are available to groups interested in implementing MPCA and US EPA-approved TMDL implementation plans. The competitive funding process is administered by the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR).
- Wastewater and Stormwater: CWLA
Grants are available to municipalities for assistance with wastewater and stormwater projects.
- Surface Water Assessment: CWLA
- Other MPCA water-related financial assistance
EQuIS (Environmental Quality Information System)
MPCA uses EQuIS to store water quality data from more than 17,000 sampling locations across the state, with information from Minnesota streams and lakes dating back to 1926. EQuIS replaces an older system, STORET, which was in use until September 2009.
- eLINK With eLINK, BWSR, local government partners, and stakeholders in conservation can track conservation projects and grants, indicators and pollution reduction benefits, cumulative grant funding over a period of years, and map locations of projects on a statewide, or on a county, watershed, or individual-project basis.
- Waterfront Bulletin
An e-newsletter featuring updates on impaired waters, watershed project funding and water restoration and protection activities underway throughout the state.
The following contacts can provide additional information about financial assistance opportunities.