Northern Wilds Magazine

Minnesota DNR awarded $1.1 million federal grant to protect coastal resources

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will use a $1.1 million grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to support the work of Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program, fund three significant local projects and continue the program’s quarterly Short Term Action Request (STAR) grants.

Project funding includes:

  • Shore Protection Structure Assessment. The DNR will work with a contractor to complete an assessment of shore protection structures along the coast. The assessment will examine the effectiveness of structures like seawalls and breakwaters, and their performance under different lake level and storm scenarios.
  • Lake Superior Coastal Erosion Outreach. Soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs) in Cook and Lake counties will host a series of erosion workshops for contractors, landowners, local governments and realtors. Both SWCD offices will have four days with a coastal engineer during which they will also offer onsite visits with landowners who need advice to address erosion issues.
  • H2O: Watersheds at Work. The Great Lakes Aquarium will create a new exhibit about key watershed concepts. The exhibit will include a working scale model of the Great Lakes basin and three water activity stations.
  • Short Term Action Request (STAR) grants. The Coastal Program will award at least $100,000 for small, non-construction grants. Projects must protect coastal resources or support their sustainable use. Communities and organizations may apply for $2,500 to $10,000. The DNR will post application materials online in August. First round applications are due Sept. 1.

Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program is a federal-state partnership working to better the state’s coast. Since its start in 1999, the program has awarded more than $13.5 million in grants to more than 650 projects.

More information about the program, its service area and grant applications is available on the DNR website at: Direct questions about the grant process to Cynthia Poyhonen, grants specialist, at 218-834-1447 or

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