Flood Mitigation Programs and Funding Sources

There are numerous options available to communities in Dane County for the financing of a flood mitigation program. The identification of potential funding sources, including sources other than those at the local level is an integral part of the implementation of a successful mitigation plan. However, funding programs and opportunities are constantly changing. The following list of existing programs and funding sources includes those that appear to be potentially applicable to municipalities within Dane County. In many cases, the listed programs and initiatives are not directly intended as flood mitigation programs. These programs do, however, have goals and objectives that are compatible with general flood mitigation goals and principles and could be applied to serve the purposes of both programs. Also, some of the programs may not be available to the county for a variety of reasons, including eligibility requirements or lack of funds in the state or federal budgets. Finally, while this listing is long, it is by no means inclusive. It is intended to provide a starting point for identifying possible funding sources.

Links to Sections of this Document

Major Flood Mitigation Funding Programs

Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP)

Managing Agency:

FEMA grant program administered by Wisconsin Emergency Management

Cost share:

75% federal, 12.5% state, 12.5% local (local cost share can be in the form of in-kind services as well as dollars; communities can also use money acquired through the Wisconsin Municipal Flood Control Grant program for their local share)

General Description:

The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) is authorized by section 404 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. HMGP funds may be used to fund projects that will reduce or eliminate the losses from future disasters (including, but not limited to, floods). Projects must provide a long-term solution to a problem, for example, elevation of a home to reduce the risk of flood damages as opposed to buying sandbags and pumps to fight the flood. In addition, a project's potential savings must be more than the cost of implementing the project. Funds may be used to protect either public or private property or to purchase property that has been subjected to, or is in danger of, repetitive damage.

Availability:

Available to the state and, through Wisconsin Emergency Management, local governments following Presidential declaration of disaster anywhere in Wisconsin. The amount of federal funding for the HMGP is based on 7.5% of total Stafford Act funds spent on Public and Individual Assistance Programs for the declared disaster. The applicant does not have to be in the area affected by the disaster to be eligible for this grant program.

All applicants must be participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) if they have been identified through the NFIP as having a Special Flood Hazard Area (a Flood Hazard Boundary Map (FHBM) or Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) has been issued). In addition, the community must not be suspended or on probation from the NFIP. Local governments applying for PDM funds must have a FEMA-approved local All Hazards Mitigation Plan.

Eligible Activities:

Funding is available for hazard mitigation projects. Examples of projects include, but are not limited to, acquisition of real property from willing sellers and demolition or relocation of buildings to convert the property to publicly-owned open space use; retrofitting structures and facilities to minimize damages from natural hazards; elevation of flood prone structures; development and initial implementation of vegetative management programs; minor flood control projects that do not duplicate the flood prevention activities of other federal agencies; localized flood control projects, such as certain ring levees and floodwall systems, that are designed specifically to protect critical facilities; and post-disaster activities that support building code officials during the reconstruction process. The HMGP gives priority to FEMA identified repetitive loss properties.

Additional Sources of Information

Wisconsin Emergency Management

FEMA


Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Program

Managing Agency:

FEMA grant program administered by Wisconsin Emergency Management

Cost share:

75% federal, 25% local (local cost share can be in the form of in-kind services as well as dollars; communities can also use money acquired through the Wisconsin Municipal Flood Control Grant program for their local share)

General Description:

The Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program provides funding to assist local governments, state governments, and Indian Tribal governments in implementing cost-effective hazard mitigation activities that complement a comprehensive all hazards mitigation program. Funding is available for planning and for hazard mitigation projects. The Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Program was authorized by §203 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief Act (Stafford Act), 42 USC, as amended by §102 of the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000.

Availability:

Available annually depending on federal funding allocations. All applicants must be participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) if they have been identified through the NFIP as having a Special Flood Hazard Area (a Flood Hazard Boundary Map (FHBM) or Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) has been issued). In addition, the community must not be suspended or on probation from the NFIP. Local governments applying for PDM funds must have a FEMA-approved local All Hazards Mitigation Plan.

Eligible Activities:

Funding is available for hazard mitigation projects and planning. Funding may be awarded for development of an All Hazards Mitigation Plan. Communities with a FEMA-approved Hazard Mitigation Plan are eligible for grants for projects including minor and localized flood control projects to protect critical facilities; acquisition of real property from willing sellers and demolition or relocation of buildings to convert the property to publicly-owned open space use; structural and nonstructural retrofitting; and purchasing generators for critical facilities.

Additional Sources of Information:

Wisconsin Emergency Management

FEMA


Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) Program

Managing Agency:

FEMA grant program administered by Wisconsin Emergency Management

Cost share:

75% federal; 25% local

General Description:

The Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) provides pre-disaster financial assistance to states and local communities for flood mitigation and planning activities. There are two types of FMA grants available: Planning Grants and Project Grants. Planning Grants are available to states and communities to assess flood risk and identify actions to reduce that risk. Project Grants are awarded to states and communities to execute measures to reduce flood losses to properties currently insured under the NFIP.

Availability:

Available to states and, through Wisconsin Emergency Management, local communities annually depending on federal funding allocations. Applicants must be participating in the NFIP and cannot be on NFIP probation or suspension. Applicants for FMA project grants must have a FEMA-approved local All Hazards Mitigation or Flood Mitigation Plan. Projects must be an eligible type of activity that reduces the risk of flood damage to structures insurable under the NFIP. Structures to be acquired, floodproofed, or otherwise mitigated must have NFIP flood insurance; however, they do not have to be located inside the 100-year floodplain.

Eligible Activities:

Planning Grants can be used to prepare a local Flood Mitigation Plan or to prepare the flood mitigation section of an All Hazards Mitigation Plan. FMA Planning Grant funds cannot be used to prepare sections of an All Hazards Mitigation Plan that address hazards other than flooding.

Project Grants can be used to implement projects that are cost effective, technically feasible, and conform to the approved Flood Mitigation Plan. Typically, funded FMA projects are for the acquisition and demolition of repetitively flooded structures insured by the NFIP. Other types of projects that may be eligible for FMA funding include relocation of structures, elevation of structures, dry floodproofing of non-residential structures, minor physical flood reduction projects, and other activities that bring structures into compliance with NFIP floodplain building requirements.

Additional Sources of Information:

Wisconsin Emergency Management

FEMA


Municipal Flood Control Grant Program

Managing Agency:

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Cost share:

70% state; 30% local

Availability:

Grant program is for two years with 1 year possible extension. Eligible applicants include cities, towns, villages, Indian Tribes, or metropolitan sewerage districts in Wisconsin. Application deadline is April 15, odd years.

General Description:

This program provides grants to cities, villages, towns and metropolitan sewerage districts to acquire or floodproof structures, purchase easements, restore riparian areas, or construct flood control structures.

Eligible Activities:

Applications for Acquisition and Development Grants would be ranked based on avoided flood damages, restoration or protection of natural and beneficial functions of water bodies, use of natural flood storage techniques or environmentally sensitive detention ponds and enhanced recreational opportunities. Eligible activities, in priority order include:

  1. Acquisition and removal of structures that, due to zoning restrictions, can not be rebuilt or repaired
  2. Acquisition and removal of structures in the 100 year floodplain
  3. Acquisition and removal of repetitive loss or substantially damaged structures
  4. Acquisition and removal of other flood damaged structures
  5. Floodproofing and elevation of structures
  6. Riparian restoration projects, including removal of dams and other artificial obstructions, restoration of fish and native plant habitat, erosion control and streambank restoration projects
  7. Acquisition of vacant land, or perpetual conservation or flowage easements to provide additional flood storage or to facilitate natural or more efficient flood flows
  8. Construction of structures for the collection, detention, retention, storage, and transmission of stormwater and groundwater for flood control and riparian restoration projects
  9. Preparation of flood insurance studies and other flood mapping projects. Can be used to provide local cost share for FEMA grants

Additional Sources of Information:
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources:


Other Funding Opportunities

FEMA – Public Assistance Program:

The Public Assistance Program can provide limited assistance for flood mitigation projects. Funding under this program is provided for repair of public infrastructure damaged during a flood that results in a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration. The Public Assistance Program is authorized under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. The Public Assistance Program will provide up to 75 percent of the project costs, with the balance of the costs shared by the State of Wisconsin (12.5 percent) and the local project grantee (12.5 percent).

Eligible categories for public assistance include costs incurred for emergency work such as debris removal and emergency protective measures or permanent work of a restorative nature such as repairing damage to roads and bridges, water treatment and control systems, or publicly owned buildings or utilities. Mitigation measures are eligible if the work to restore public infrastructure is done in such a way as to improve the facility in order to prevent or minimize future damages.

Additional Information:
FEMA


FEMA - National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP):

The NFIP is a voluntary Federal program enabling property owners in participating communities to purchase insurance as a protection against flood losses with the stipulation that the state and local community have in place floodplain management regulations that reduce future flood damages. Participation in the NFIP is based on an agreement between communities and the Federal Government. If a community adopts and enforces a floodplain management ordinance to reduce future flood risk to new construction in floodplains, the Federal Government will make flood insurance available to renters, homeowners, and businesses within the community as a financial protection against flood losses. This insurance is designed to provide an insurance alternative to escalating federal disaster assistance costs.

Flood insurance is generally available for all structures located anywhere in communities that participate in the NFIP, regardless of whether the structure is in a Special Flood Hazard Area (i.e., 100-year floodplain). Owners of homes in the Special Flood Hazard Area who acquire a mortgage from a federally regulated lender, or who use federal programs such as the Veterans Administration to secure or guarantee a home loan, are required to purchase flood insurance for the duration of their loan. Funding to reduce flood damage in structures or to purchase floodprone structures is often available only for structures whose owners carry flood insurance.

Additional Information:
floodsmart


FEMA – National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) Coverage:

Property owners in the Special Flood Hazard Area (i.e., 100-year floodplain) with NFIP flood insurance may be eligible to claim up to $30,000 to bring their structure into compliance with the floodplain building regulations written into their community’s ordinance. Individuals with flood insurance may make an ICC claim only after the community declares that their property suffered “substantial damage” from flooding (i.e., damage to the point that repairs would cost 50% or more of the structure’s pre-damage equalized assessed value). In communities that have adopted a repetitive loss provision in their local ordinance, property owners with flood insurance are also eligible to make an ICC claim if their community declares that their home or business suffered repetitive damage (i.e., damage by flooding twice in the past 10 years, where the cost of repairing the flood damage, on average, equaled or exceeded 25% of the property market value at the time of each flood) if there were flood insurance claim payments for each of the two losses. ICC coverage applies to most Standard Flood Insurance Policies issued or renewed after June 1, 1997.

Additional Information:
Increased cost of compliance
Increased cost of compliance coverage


Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)- Repetitive Flood Claims (RFC) and Severe Repetitive Loss (SRL) Programs:

These programs provide funding to states and communities that cannot meet the requirements of the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) program for either cost share or capacity to manage the activities. The programs provide up to 100% federal funding to acquire and either demolish or relocate outside of the floodplain repetitively-flooded properties. Repetitive Flood Claims (RFC) properties are those that have at least one paid flood insurance claim under the NFIP. Severe Repetitive Loss (SRL) properties are residential properties for which four or more claims have been paid for more than $5,000 each and $20,000 cumulatively within any rolling 10-year period since January 1, 1978, and/or two or more claims within any rolling 10-year period since January 1, 1978 that appear to equal or exceed the reported property value of the home.

Additional Information:
RFC & SRL Programs


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Additional Information:
Army Corps of Engineers Services to the Public


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Floodplain Management Services Program (FPMS):

The Corps of Engineers Floodplain Management Services Program (FPMS) is authorized under Section 206 of the Flood Control Act of 1960, as amended. Under this program, the Corps is authorized to provide, upon request from local authorities, a range of technical services and planning guidance on floods and floodplain issues. Available services include the following:

  • Provide flood hazard evaluations
  • Interpret existing flood data, primarily hydraulic and hydrologic information
  • Develop data on the extent, depth, and frequency of flooding
  • Develop and disseminate information on non-structural options such as flood proofing and relocation of structures in the floodplain
  • Develop comprehensive flood warning systems
  • Develop emergency evacuation plans
  • Determine flood susceptibility of structures for Flood Insurance purposes

A Flood Management Services study may be initiated directly by a local unit of government by a formal written request to the St Paul District of the Corps of Engineers.


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Emergency Bank Protection:

Section 14 of the 1946 Flood Control Act, as amended permits the Corps to perform streambank protection projects to protect endangered highways, bridges, public works facilities, and cultural sites that are endangered by flood-caused bank or shoreline erosion. Repair, restoration, and modification of the eroding streambank are authorized. Section 14 covers only protection of important and essential facilities that serve the general public. This includes major highways, but also other routes that are of special or significant importance to the local community. Privately owned facilities and riverfront are not eligible for protection under Section 14.

A bank protection project must be cost effective and of a sound design. The maximum federal expenditure per project is $500,000, with a local share of at least 25 percent. Other local responsibilities include providing rights-of-way and easements, relocating utilities if necessary, and maintaining the project after completion. An investigation under Section 14 may be initiated directly by a local unit of government by a formal written request to the St Paul District of the Corps of Engineers.


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Small Flood Control Projects:

The Corps of Engineers has the authority, under Section 205 of the 1948 Flood Control act, as amended, to plan, design, and construct small flood control projects that have not been specifically authorized by congress. This includes both structural and nonstructural projects. Structural projects are projects such as dredging stream channels or constructing levees or dams. Nonstructural projects are projects such as flood proofing homes providing evacuation assistance. In order to be eligible for assistance, a project must be cost effective, environmentally acceptable, and technically feasible.

Before performing any project work, the Corps will go through a detailed study process. This includes an initial “reconnaissance” study to determine if the flood situation warrants further, more detailed study. The reconnaissance study is conducted at federal expense. If the project does warrant further investigation, a feasibility study will be conducted to determine the level of federal participation in the project. The feasibility study is cost shared with the local sponsor on a 50/50 basis. If the total cost of both studies is less than $40,000, then there is no cost sharing and the studies are conducted at full federal expense.

Once a project is approved and funded for construction, the local sponsor is required to contribute a 25 percent match, up-front before the project begins. Other local responsibilities include providing rights-of-way and easements, relocating utilities if necessary, and maintaining the project after completion. An investigation under Section 205 may be initiated directly by a local unit of government by a formal written request to the St Paul District of the Corps of Engineers.


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Snagging and Clearing:

Section 208 of the 1954 Flood Control Act, as amended by the 1974 Water resources Development Act, provides authority to the Corps of Engineers to remove accumulated snags and other debris and to clean and straighten stream channels as a flood control measure. In order to be eligible for assistance, a project must be cost effective, environmentally acceptable, and technically feasible. The maximum federal expenditure is $500,000 per project. Feasibility studies will be performed at full federal expense.

Once a project is approved and funded, the local sponsor is required to contribute a 25 percent match, up-front before the project begins. Other local responsibilities include providing rights-of-way and easements, relocating utilities if necessary, and maintaining the project after completion. An investigation under Section 208 may be initiated directly by a local unit of government by a formal written request to the St Paul District of the Corps of Engineers.


Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)

Dane County Planning and Development Department – Community Development Block Grant Program:

The CDBG program can provide funding for a variety of flood mitigation activities, including disaster relief and acquisition and relocation of structures. In 1998 Dane County was designated an “Urban County” by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This designation allowed Dane County to become eligible to receive annual CDBG allocations. The Urban County in Dane County consists of 48 municipalities outside the City of Madison including five cities, eleven villages, and thirty-two towns. The County developed a Five Year Consolidated Plan for Housing and Community Development, which was approved by HUD in August 1999. This allowed the County to access approximately $1,200,000 annually for housing and community development activities that primarily benefit persons with low and moderate incomes.

Additional Information:
Community Development Block Grant Program


U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) – Conservation Programs

USDA Farm Service Agency – Emergency Conservation Program (ECP):

This is a post-disaster program available directly to agricultural producers who have sustained significant damages resulting from a natural disaster. The program is designed to enable farmers to perform emergency conservation measures to control wind erosion on farmlands, to rehabilitate farmlands damaged by wind erosion, floods, hurricanes, or other natural disasters and to carry out emergency water conservation or water enhancing measures during periods of severe drought.

Additional Information:
Emergency Conservation Program


USDA Farm Service Agency - Conservation Reserve Program (CRP):

The CRP is not designed as a flood mitigation funding program, however, some of the objectives of the program, to reduce soil erosion and sedimentation, improve water quality, and create better habitat for wildlife, are compatible with flood reduction goals.

The CRP is open to individuals, associations, or local units of government. Eligible owners or operators may place highly erodible or other environmentally sensitive land into a 10-15 year contract. The participant, in return for annual payments, agrees to implement a conservation plan approved by the local conservation district for converting highly erodible cropland or other environmentally sensitive land to a long-term resource conserving cover i.e., eligible land must be planted with a vegetative cover, such as, perennial grasses, legumes, fobs, shrubs, or trees. The participant agrees to reduce the aggregate total of allotments and quotas by an amount based on the ratio of the total cropland acreage on each farm, to the total acreage on each farm subject to the CRP contract. Financial and technical assistance are available to participants to assist in the establishment of a long- term resource conserving cover.

Additional Information:
Conservation Reserve Program


USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) – Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP):

The WRP is designed to assist landowners to restore and protect farmed wetlands, prior converted wetlands, wetlands farmed under natural condition, certain riparian areas, and eligible buffer areas for landowners who have eligible land on which they agree to enter into a permanent or long-term easement or restoration agreement contract. The goal of WRP to maximize wetland functions and values and wildlife habitat.

Additional Information:
Wetlands Reserve Program


USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) – Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention (Small Watershed Program):

Under the small watershed program, the NRCS can provide technical and financial assistance to local associations or units of government in carrying out works of improvement to protect, develop, and utilize the land and water resources in small watersheds. Technical assistance is provided in designing, and installing watershed improvement projects. Financial assistance is provided for sharing costs of measures for watershed protection, flood prevention, agricultural water management, sedimentation control, public water based fish, wildlife, recreation, and extending long term credit to help local interests with their share of the costs. The watershed area must not exceed 250,000 acres. Capacity of a single structure is limited to 25,000 acre-feet of total capacity and 12,500 acre-feet of floodwater detention capacity.

Additional Information:
Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention


USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) – Watershed Surveys and Planning (Small Watershed Program):

The Watershed surveys and Planning Program will provide planning assistance to local agencies for the development of coordinated water and related land resources programs in watersheds and river basins. Priority is given to studies which: (1) contribute to achieving the National Conservation Program high priority objectives; (2) have a high likelihood of being implemented; (3) will be implemented with no or relatively little Federal assistance; (4) have State and local assistance in the study; and (5) are of short duration (2 to 4 years) and (6) low cost. Special priority is given to the objective of setting priorities in helping to solve problems of upstream rural community flooding, water quality improvement coming from agricultural non-point sources, wetland preservation and drought management for agriculture and rural communities. Special emphasis is given to assisting communities that desire to adopt floodplain management regulations to meet the requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program and State agencies in developing a strategic water resource plan.

Additional Information:
Watershed Surveys and Planning


NRCS - Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP):

The purpose of EQIP is to provide technical and financial help to landowners for conservation practices that protect soil and water quality. Landowners enter into 5 to 10 year contracts to install conservation practices on their property. These contracts include conservation practices such as grassed waterways, diversions, terraces, barnyard runoff control, and nutrient management.

Additional Information:
Environmental Quality Incentives Program


USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) – Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP):

The EWP was established to respond to emergencies created by natural disaster. It is designed to relieve imminent hazards to life and property caused by floods and other natural occurrences. It is not necessary for a natural emergency to be declared for an area to be eligible for assistance. EWP work can include removing debris from stream channels, road culverts, and bridges; reshaping and protecting eroded banks; correcting damaged drainage facilities; repairing levees and structures; reseeding damaged areas; and purchasing floodplain easements. EWP funds cannot be used to solve problems that existed before the disaster or to improve the level of protection above that which existed prior to the disaster. All projects undertaken must be sponsored by a political subdivision of the state, such as a city, county, general improvement district, or conservation district. NRCS may bear up to 75% of the construction costs of the emergency measures (up to 90% in limited resource areas); the remaining cost-share must come from local sources and can be in the form of in-kind services.

Additional Information:
Emergency Watershed Protection


U.S. Department of Interior

U.S. Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service – Wetlands Conservation Fund:

Funds are available to public and private organizations that have developed partnerships to carry out wetlands conservation projects. Funds can be used to acquire real property interest in lands or waters, including water rights, or restore, manage, or enhance wetland ecosystems and other habitat for migratory birds and other fish and wildlife species. All funds must be administered for the long-term conservation of such lands and waters.

Additional Information:
Wetlands Conservation Fund


U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service – Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance:

Funds are available to community groups and local governments to develop new trails and greenways; protect and restore river resources, access and views; convert abandoned railways to multi-purpose trails; promote and develop systems of trails and greenways; conserve open space; and establish new conservation organizations and alliances.

Additional Information:
Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance


Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR)

WDNR - County Conservation Aids:

Funds are available to carry out program of fish or wildlife management projects as per s.23.09 (12), Wis. Stats. and NR 50, Wis. Adm. Code. Counties and recognized Indian Tribes are eligible to apply on forms provided by the Department. There is a 50% local match. Projects related to providing improved fish or wildlife habitat or projects related to hunter/angler facilities are eligible. Projects that enhance fish and wildlife habitat or fishing and hunting facilities have priority.

Additional Information:
County Conservation Aids


WDNR - Dam Maintenance, Repair, Modification, Abandonment, and Removal:

Funds are available to municipalities and public inland lake districts to conduct dam maintenance, repair, modification, abandonment and removal as per s. 31.385, Wis. Stats. Counties, towns, cities, villages and public inland lake protection districts that have received an order under s. 31.19(5), Wis. Stats., to repair or abandon a dam are eligible to apply on forms provided by the Department. Dam repair, reconstruction, modification or abandonment and removal are eligible projects. Funding priority is determined by the dam's size, hazard rating, downstream zoning, repair costs and the municipality's financial need. A local match of 50% is required, with a maximum grant award of $200,000 per project.

Additional Information:
Dam Maintenance, Repair, Modification, Abandonment, and Removal


WDNR - Lake Planning Grant:

Funds are available to collect and analyze information needed to protect and restore lakes and their watersheds as per s. 281.68, Wis. Stats. Counties, towns, cities, villages, non-profit groups and qualified lake associations, as defined in s.30.92(1)(br) and public inland lake protection and rehabilitation districts are eligible to apply on forms provided by the Department. The state cost shares up to 75% up to a maximum of $10,000 per grant. Applications due in region offices by February 1 and August 1 of each year. Types of projects include physical, chemical, biological, and sociological data collection, water quality assessment, and watershed evaluation including County-wide or regional initiatives.

Additional Information:
Large-Scale Lakes
Small-Scale Lakes


WDNR - Lake Protection Grant:

Funds are available to protect and improve the water quality of lakes and their ecosystems as per s. 281.69, Wis. Stats. Grants are available for purchasing land or easements, restoration of wetlands, development of local regulations to protect water quality, lake improvement activities called for in a Department approved plan, and Countywide lake classification. Counties, towns, cities, villages, public authorities and qualified lake associations as defined in s. 30.92(1)(br), Wis. Stats., public inland lake districts, non-profit groups, and other local governmental units established for lake management are eligible to apply on forms provided by the Department. The state cost shares up to 75% of project costs not to exceed $200,000. Applications are due in the Regional offices by May 1 of each year.

Priorities are set on a statewide basis (see ch. NR 191.08, Wis. Adm. Code) and consider the following factors:

  1. Lakes which have not previously received a lake protection grant
  2. The degree to which the project provides for the protection or improvement of water quality
  3. The degree to which the project provides for protection or improvement of other aspects of the natural ecosystem such as fish, wildlife or natural beauty
  4. The availability of public access to, and public use of the lakes
  5. The degree to which the proposed project complements other lake and watershed management efforts
  6. The level of support for the project from other affected management units
  7. The level of financial support provided by the sponsor

Additional Information:
Lake Protection Grant


WDNR - Local Water Quality Management Planning Aids:

Funds are available to assist in the development and implementation of area wide water quality management planning activities as per s. 604(b), Federal Clean Water Act, s. 281.51, Wis. Stats., and ch. NR 121, Wis. Adm. Code. Local, County, and regional planning agencies, commissions, and departments and other local government units with water quality management planning responsibilities are eligible to apply on forms provided by the Bureau of Watershed Management. Matching local funds may be required depending upon proposed water quality priorities, work plans, cost estimates, and fund source. Proposals must be received by October 31 to be considered for funding in the next calendar year. Eligible projects include local and regional water resource management and watershed planning activities; sewer service area plans and amendments; regional wastewater facility planning initiatives; and, identification and protection of water quality sensitive areas known as environmental corridors. The Department negotiates annual contracts with planning agencies and commissions. Project proposals may be submitted through regional DNR watershed management planning staff on a continuous basis. The Department, in cooperation with regional planning agencies, sets annual priorities to assist with areawide water quality management planning activities.

Additional Information:
Local Water Quality Management Planning Aids


WDNR - Nonpoint Pollution Abatement Program (A.K.A., Runoff Pollution):

Funds are available to improve water quality by limiting or ending sources of nonpoint source (run-off) water pollution by providing financial and technical assistance to landowners, land operators, municipalities, and other governmental units as per s. 281.65, Wis. Stats. and NR 120, Wis. Adm. Code. Governmental units within designated priority watersheds and priority lakes are eligible to apply on forms provided by the Department. Cost sharing is provided of up to 70-100% for local administration and 50-70% for installing best management practices to reduce water pollution.

Eligible projects are watersheds and lakes where:

  1. The water quality improvement or protection will be great in relation to funds expended
  2. The installation of best management practices is feasible to abate water pollution caused by nonpoint source pollution
  3. The local governmental units and agencies involved are willing to carry out program responsibilities

Efforts are focused statewide in critical watersheds and lakes where nonpoint source related water quality problems are most severe and control is most feasible. Rural landowners and land operators located in selected priority watersheds and priority lakes can contact their County land conservation departments to explain the program and have the landowner/land operator sign for cost sharing best management practices. Non-rural landowners and land operators can contact their municipal government offices. A watershed or lake project normally has a 10-12 year time frame: two years for planning and eight to ten years to implement best management practices.

Additional Information:
Nonpoint Polution Abatement Program


WDNR - River Management Grants:

River Protection Management grants provide state cost sharing assistance to eligible sponsors for implementing a specific activity or set of activities, other than planning activities, to protect or improve a river ecosystem as per s. 181.70 Wis. Stats. Counties, towns, cities, villages, non-profit groups and qualified river management organizations, and other local governmental units as defined in s. 66.0131, Wis. Stats., are eligible to apply on forms provided by the Department. The state cost shares up to 75% of project costs not to exceed $50,000. Activities eligible for funding include:

  1. River organization development
  2. Information and education
  3. Assessments of water quality, fish, and aquatic life
  4. Nonpoint source evaluations

Applications are due in region offices by May 1 of each year.

Additional Information:
River Management Grants


WDNR - Aids for the Acquisition and Development of Local Parks (Stewardship Grant):

Funds are available to assist local communities acquiring and developing public outdoor recreation areas as per s. 23.09 (20), Wis. Stats. Counties, towns, cities, villages and Indian Tribes with an approved Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan are eligible to apply by May 1 of each year on forms provided by the Department. There is a 50% local match required. Awards are granted on a competitive basis. Acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation areas are eligible projects. Priority is given to the acquisition of land where a scarcity of outdoor recreation land exists.

Additional Information:
Aids for the Acquisition and Development of Local Parks


WDNR - Urban Green Space (Stewardship Grant):

Funds are available to provide open natural space in proximity to urban development, to protect from development land with scenic, ecological or natural values in urban areas, and to provide land for noncommercial gardening in urban areas as per s. 23.09(19) Wis. Stats. Counties, Towns, Cities, Villages, lake districts, Indian tribes and nonprofit conservation organizations under s. 23.096 Wis. Stats. are eligible to apply on forms provided by the Department. There is a 50% local match required. Applications are due in the appropriate region office by May 1.

Additional Information:
Urban Green Space


WDNR - Urban Rivers Grant (Stewardship Grant):

Funds are available to improve outdoor recreation opportunities by increasing access to urban rivers for a variety of public uses, economic revitalization through the improvement of the environmental quality in urban river corridors, and preserving and revitalizing historical, cultural, or natural areas as per s. 30.277, Wis. Stats. Counties, towns, cities, villages, and tribal units of government are eligible to apply on forms provided by the Department. There is a 50% local match required. Applications are due in the region office by May 1 of each year. Eligible projects include acquisition of urban riverfront land that is part of an outdoor recreation plan adopted by the local unit of government or land that is specifically identified in a river corridor plan for economic revitalization and outdoor recreation.

Additional Information:
Urban Rivers Grant


WDNR – Acquisition of Development Rights Grants (Stewardship Grant):

The program helps to purchase from landowners development rights (easements) for the protection of natural, agricultural, or forestry values, that would enhance nature-based outdoor recreation. Residential, industrial, or commercial development is prohibited on those areas of easement property that are encumbered by a Stewardship grant. Additional restrictions may apply.

Additional Information:
Acquisition of Development Rights Grants


WDNR - Priority Watershed Program:

The Priority Watershed and Priority Lake Program provides financial assistance to local units of government in selected watersheds to address land management activities that contribute to urban and rural runoff. The WDNR issues grants for the implementation of watershed and lake projects through a cost-share approach. A priority watershed project assesses sources of nonpoint pollution in a specific watershed and guides implementation of nonpoint source pollution control measures or best management practices.

However, as part of the redesign of the State’s Nonpoint Source Pollution Program, no new priority watershed or lake projects will be selected. Dane County has four Priority Watershed projects. While the Black Earth Creek and the Yahara-Monona Priority Watershed projects have ended, the Lake Mendota and Dunlap Creek projects are continuing to the end of their terms.

Participation in the program is voluntary for landowners. Cost-share assistance is provided for control of the most significant nonpoint sources of pollution. Urban and rural Best Management Practices (BMPs) are the most effective practice or combination of practices for reducing nonpoint source pollution to acceptable levels. BMPs are implemented to meet specific water quality goals by reducing pollution and ultimately enhance and protect the water quality of the streams, rivers and lakes. For example, alterations in farm management (nutrient management and crop rotation, etc.) and engineered structures (clean water diversions, sediment basins, etc.) are tailored to landowner needs. Municipalities are also eligible for cost-share funds and can reduce their impact on the watershed by installing detention basins and adopting ordinances (for construction sites, etc.).

Additional Information:
Priority Watershed Program


Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection

Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP):

The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program provides an opportunity for Wisconsin landowners to enroll agricultural lands into various conservation practices. CREP is a federal, state, and local partnership involving the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Wisconsin DNR, the Dane County Land Conservation Department, and local farmers and land owners. To be eligible for the program a property must meet specific crop history or pasture land requirements. In addition, landowners in Dane County are eligible for riparian projects if the land is within 150 feet of an eligible stream or water body. In the southern grassland project area, including the towns of Blue Mounds and Perry, lands must be within 1,000 feet of an eligible water body and also be classified as highly erodible. Specific conservation practices that are eligible to be used in an approved conservation plan under CREP include: riparian buffers, grassed waterways, filter strips, and wetland restorations.

Additional Information:
Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program


Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT)

WisDOT - Flood Damage Aid (FDA):

The DOT’s Flood Damage Aid program assists local governments with replace or improving roads and roadway structures that have had major damage caused by flooding. FDA funds can be used to defray the costs of repairing any public highway, street, alley, or bridge not located on the State Trunk Highway system. The FDA program is authorized in s. 86.34, Wis. Stats. Eligibility requirements apply.

Additional Information:
Flood Damage Aid


Dane County Land and Water Resources

Dane County Parks Department - Dane County Conservation Fund and Conservation Fund Grant Program:

The Dane County Conservation Fund annually earmarks monies from the Dane County Parks budget to preserve natural, recreational, and cultural resource lands in Dane County. Beginning in 2000, a new component established a competitive 50% Conservation Fund Grant Program for local governmental units and non-profit organizations. This new grant program recognizes the power of partnerships in leveraging County dollars and accelerating the purchase of properties identified through the County's Park and Open Space Plan. Grants made with, "New Conservation Fund" dollars will be used by these community partners to buy land or land interests identified in the 1996-2000 Park and Open Space Plan. Lands eligible for grants from "Old Conservation Fund" dollars are those identified in either the 1996-2000 Plan or in project areas added in amended or updated plans such as the 2005 Dane County Park and Open Space Plan.

Additional Information:
Dane County Conservation Fund and Conservation Fund Grant Program



Revised: October 18, 2007