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Energy & Environment

Lake Property Owners Have Access To Healthy Lakes Grants

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As the snow flies, a lakes specialist says it's a good time to start planning a Healthy Lakes project to help preserve water quality in area lakes.

UW-Extension lakes specialist Patrick Goggin says Healthy Lakes is a four-year old program involved with the surface water grants made available through the DNR...

"..what they're meant to be are small first steps that any property owner can take to make water healthier and the lake in a better place. There are five best practices that go with healthy lakes. What we're trying to do is get lakeshore property owners to think about their property in a holistic way....."

The five practices include putting woody debris back into the water, commonly called 'fish sticks', installation of native planting packages, about 350 square feet, diversion of runoff water into a place where it can be absorbed, placement of rock filtration projects to soak up runoff, and installation of upland rain gardens which also helps wildlife. Eligible sponsors include lake groups, waterfront organizations and local governments like towns and counties. Grants are capped at $25,000 and each Healthy Lakes best practice is capped at $1,000 in state funding.

Applicants apply on behalf of lakeshore property owners...

"....some of the projects the counties do and others are big projects. These are meant to be first steps, easy steps. Either folks can use the technical information on the healthy lakes website and just go an do it, or they can get a $1,000 for each best practice through the grant program...."

The Healthy Lakes initiative is an effort of the Wisconsin Lakes Partnership supported by DNR, the UW-Extension Lakes Program, Wisconsin Lakes, counties and the many lake groups and citizens.. More information on the grant program is available at the website www.healthy lakes wi.com

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