Find Nonprofit and Small Business Grants

Advance Search

Only Available for Paid Subscribers
Clear Filters
Search Filters

Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program (MLSCP) - Annual Grants

Grants to Minnesota Nonprofits, Agencies, IHEs,
and School Districts for Coastal Management Projects

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

Add to My Calendar 

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources - U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office for Coastal Management, Coastal Programs Division

Deadline Date:

11/30/17 3:00 PM


Request a Grant Writer

Grants starting at $10,000 to Minnesota nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and IHEs, and school districts to address issues impacting Lake Superior and the state’s coastal area. Applications are invited for coastal management projects that protect the natural environment, economic prosperity, quality of life, and built environment.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR) is seeking applications for projects to include in its 2018 coastal zone management application. The MNDNR will award grants to the entities whose projects are competitively selected to be part of the final application.

Projects selected must be consistent with the objectives of the Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Act of 1972; help fulfill the mission of the MNDNR; and comply with state and federal grant requirements.

-The Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 provides the basis for protecting, restoring, and responsibly developing the nation’s diverse coastal communities and resources.

-The mission of the MNDNR is to work with citizens to conserve and manage the state's natural resources, to provide outdoor recreation opportunities, and to provide for commercial uses of natural resources in a way that creates a sustainable quality of life.

Multi-organization collaborative projects are welcome; it is not a requirement for grant funding.

The MNDNR and Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program:

The MNDNR is the lead agency for the state’s coastal management program (Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program; MLSCP; Coastal Program). The MNDNR and the Coastal Program’s broad network of partners aim to preserve, protect, develop, and where possible, restore or enhance coastal resources along Minnesota's shore of Lake Superior. It helps local communities, agencies, and organizations balance protection of coastal resources with providing places for people to live, work, and play.


The priority in 2018 is on protecting lives and property across the entire coastal area by minimizing risk from natural hazards such as storms, flooding, and erosion. The priority also includes addressing hazardous situations at coastal public access sites.

The project must be within:
-The Minnesota waters of Lake Superior
-Public (non-federal) land in Minnesota’s coastal area


“Coastal management” is a term that covers the decisions and actions taken to keep the natural environment, built environment, quality of life, and economic prosperity of the state’s coastal areas in balance. Coastal management is further defined to six goals.

To be eligible, a project must help achieve one of the following goals:
-Protect and restore the coastal area’s natural resources and habitats. (Coastal Habitat)
-Protect lives and property in the coastal area by minimizing risk from natural hazards such as storms, flooding, and erosion. (Coastal Hazards)
-Safeguard and restore water quality in Lake Superior and area streams. (Water Quality)
-Create or improve public access to outdoor recreational opportunities within Minnesota’s coastal area. (Public Access)
-Help communities manage development along the Lake Superior coast in a sustainable way. (Coastal Community Development)
-Research, analyze, and share information that leads to better coastal land and water management by government and citizens. (Coordination and Public Involvement)

The project must fall into one of the following categories:

Construction and Land Acquisition:

Funding is available for low-cost construction and land acquisition (306A) projects if they meet these criteria:
-Applicant is a unit of government; and
-The project must meet one of the following objectives.

Project Objectives:
-Preserve or restore an area identified for its conservation, recreational, ecological or aesthetic values (e.g., public parks, St. Louis River Area of Concern, boat accesses, trail systems) or contain one or more coastal resources of national significance;
-Redevelop deteriorating or underused urban waterfronts and ports; and/or o Provide public access to public beaches and other coastal areas and waters.

These projects undergo extensive NOAA review and require additional documentation. If your project is selected to be part of the Department’s application, Coastal Program staff will work with you to prepare your project for the additional NOAA review.

Low-Cost Construction:

Low-cost construction is any project that results in the physical change of property and involves moving dirt or destroying existing vegetation. For example, paths, walkways, fences, fishing piers, beach walkovers, boardwalks, boat ramps, ADA improvements to public access facilities, viewing platforms, coastal habitat restoration, invasive species removal, living shorelines designed to increase resilience and enhance ecological integrity, sign installation and the rehabilitation of historic buildings and structures.

Nonprofit organizations (e.g., land trusts, development corporations/ quasi-governmental units and other non-public not-for-profit entities) can facilitate the implementation of low cost construction projects. However, grant funds cannot be directly allocated to a nonprofit organization.
All low-cost construction projects must be on lands publicly owned, leased, or otherwise protected through and easement. Leases or easements should be in perpetuity or, at minimum, for 20 years. The project must benefit the public and may not be used to improve private property or private enterprises.

Land Acquisition:

These projects involve the acquisition of land from willing sellers of fee simple or other public interest in land, including conservation easements. However, land purchases are limited to areas that: (1) provide or improve public access or (2) provide preservation of a significant natural resource. Acquisition may also include the purchase of easements, entering into leases, and purchase of development rights.

A unit of government may enter into a partnership with a nonprofit organization to purchase property, for preservation purposes only, so long as the unit of government holds the grant and retains ownership (title) and control of the property. If a land trust is involved, the land trust may retain an interest in the property consistent with the purpose of preserving coastal uses or resources, e.g., a conservation easement, but not fee simple ownership.

No lands or easements already possessed by a public entity can be funded with one of these grants.


Projects that assist communities and organizations with coordination and planning for resource management/protection. For example: comprehensive planning, project designs, and community organizing.


Projects that provide opportunities to gain knowledge. For example: workshops, trainings, media, exhibits, and informational signs (indoor and/or replacement of placards).

Applied Research:

Projects that produce new knowledge required for an identified coastal resource need of a community, land or water manager, or organization. Proposals must demonstrate how the research will address one or more coastal management goals and benefit resource management. Applicants should include a plan to disseminate the research findings to the scientific community and resource managers. Research projects must include community outreach activities (for example; press releases, events at state parks, community meetings, website/program promotion, and research dissemination).

Emerging Issues:

Projects that address issues that are timely and specific. This is a broad reaching category.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 137915

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

The minimum grant request is $10,000 and the maximum is $100,000.

Term of Contract:

You will have approximately 15 months to complete your project. You should plan for project activities to begin on or after September 1, 2018. Projects must be completed by November 30, 2019.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The following types of organizations are eligible to apply:
-Nonprofit organization
-Local units of government (e.g., city, township, county)
-Area-wide agency, including a county and/or regional planning agency
-State agency (excluding the MNDNR)
-Tribal government
-College or university
-Public school district
-Conservation district
-Port authority
-Joint powers board
-Sanitary sewer district

Not Funded:
-Creation of wetlands or other habitat required as a condition of a permit or any other regulatory action
-Projects at wetland mitigation banks
-Maintenance and/or purchase of recreational equipment
-Harbor dredging
-Warehouse demolition
-Breakwater construction
-Large-scale hard structure erosion control projects
-Beach re-nourishment
-Building marinas
-Infrastructure projects related to road, water and sewer line construction
-Improvements to buildings for rental, lodging or private property

This program generally cannot fund projects that fulfill regulatory requirements. Projects that do will be discussed with NOAA as part of the initial assessment for eligibility.

This grant cannot fund projects on private property or activities that support a private enterprise.

Pre-Application Information:

You will need to provide 50% of the total project cost as match. For example, you may apply for a grant of $50,000 and will need to provide $50,000 match. All of the rules that apply to federal funds also apply to matching funds.

Your contribution must be from a non-federal source. It can be cash or in-kind. Expenses such as project personnel, supplies, and equipment are eligible. Volunteer contributions are acceptable, and can be valued at $20 per hour. You may charge volunteer time at the rate paid for the type of work completed (e.g., attorney doing legal work may charge their standard rate). The time students and their parents spend participating in Coastal Program grant-funded field trips cannot be used to meet the match requirement. Volunteers must perform a specific service necessary to completing the project.

If you would like someone to review your application for eligibility and provide feedback on content, you must send a draft via email a minimum of two weeks prior to the due date (by November 15). Changes made as a result of recommendations do not ensure the application will rank well or be selected for funding.

If you are applying for funds for a construction or land acquisition project, please review the NOAA Section 306A Guidance (attached below) as you will be responsible for completing the required documentation.

Applications are accepted until 3:00 PM, November 30, 2017.

Grants are awarded annually in July.

More information about the national Coastal Zone Management Act may be found here:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Cynthia Poyhonen, Grants Specialist

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Coastal Program Manager: Amber Westerbur
1568 Highway 2
Two Harbors, MN 55616

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Minnesota: Minnesota waters of Lake Superior; and public (non-federal) land in Minnesota’s coastal area