Aquatic Habitat Restoration Grant Program

Program Summary: The purpose of the Aquatic Habitat Program is to expand the diversity and abundance of native aquatic and shoreland plants; improve and protect the quality of aquatic habitat; enhance and protect water quality; raise awareness of the value of native shoreline and aquatic vegetation.

Grant Details: The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is making available $225,000 of cost share dollars to counties, cities, watershed districts, other local units of government, conservation groups and lake associations to conduct shoreline and watershed enhancement projects with native plants, with the goal of improving aquatic habitat and water quality for fish and wildlife. For more specific information on the program and grant requirements please refer to the grant requirements link below. To apply for these funds, fill out the grant application located at the link below and please see the last page of the grant application for submission details.

To be considered for funding, the completed grant application must be returned to the Aquatic Habitat Specialist in your region of the state (see map on application) by November 8th, 2013.

 Preferred Projects will: 

  • incorporate aquatic plants and native woody vegetation (shrubs and trees) in the project design. These plants should be known to have grown (or currently grow) within the project area or along undeveloped reference shorelines. There should also be a strong likelihood of aquatic plants surviving without major modifications to the shoreline.
  • include geomorphology based habitat restoration for stream restoration projects.
  • include permanent protection of the restoration through deed restrictions, conservation easements, etc.
  • be part of a long term plan to improve habitat and water quality for fish and other aquatic organisms.
  • be located on aquatic resources that are managed for fishing and have a public access.

Projects whose primary goals are to address erosion or water quality issues that are not focused on using native vegetation as a buffer or filter but primarily utilizing constructed storm ponds or hard armoring will not be consider for this application.

Locations of Existing Shoreland Habitat Projects


Further Information:
John Hiebert, Lake Habitat Consultant
Minnesota DNR
500 Lafayette Road, Box 20
St. Paul, MN 55155
Phone: (651) 259-5212