Funding opportunities for watershed projects around the state are available through federal and state funds. These funds are awarded through either competitive watershed funding (such as federal Section 319 and state Clean Water Partnership grants and loans) or non-competitive processes (Clean Water Fund).
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.
Section 319 grants. MPCA applies annually to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) for Clean Water Act, Section 319(h) grant funds. A significant portion of these federal funds 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 grants and loans. The 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.
The Clean Water Legacy Act (CWLA) was established by the Minnesota 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.
- TMDL Surface Water Assessment Grants (SWAG) 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 funds are awarded to local government units (LGUs) or other groups for the purpose of developing TMDL reports that address water quality impairments.
- Minnesota Clean Water Fund (BWSR) - Grants are available to groups interested in implementing MPCA and U.S. EPA-approved TMDL implementation plans. The competitive funding process is administered by the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR).
- Wastewater and stormwater grants are available to municipalities for assistance with wastewater and stormwater projects.
EQuIS (Environmental Quality Information System) is the system MPCA uses 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 STORET, an older system that was in use until September 2009.
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 is an e-newsletter featuring updates on impaired waters, watershed project funding and water restoration and protection activities underway throughout the state.
MPCA staff members can answer your questions about financial assistance opportunities.