About Wisconsin’s Healthy Lakes & Rivers

Healthy Lakes & Rivers includes 5 simple and inexpensive best practices that improve habitat and water quality on your shoreland property.

We encourage do-it-yourselfers to use these practices but have also created a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Healthy Lakes & Rivers grant for funding assistance. Local partners like qualified lake and river organizations and counties may apply for Healthy Lakes & Rivers funding on behalf of shoreland property owners, or they may choose to integrate the Healthy Lakes & Rivers initiative into their lake or river management, comprehensive planning, and shoreland zoning ordinance efforts.

Shoreland properties include land within 1,000 feet of a lake or 300 feet of a river.

Shoreland Property Owners

Interested in grant funding? Partner with an eligible grant applicant like a local unit of government or qualified lake or river organization for funding.
Learn more

Action Plan


Wisconsin’s Healthy Lakes & Rivers Action Plan builds off the success of the 2014-2017 Healthy Lakes pilot. Healthy Lakes & Rivers remains a collaborative team effort that depends on private and public shoreland property owners, businesses, and the Wisconsin Lakes Partnership to promote and install relatively simple and inexpensive best practices benefiting habitat and water quality. This goal-oriented plan also includes funding, promotion, and evaluation strategies.

Purpose & Goals


Our Purpose

To protect and restore the health of our lakes and rivers by increasing property owner participation in habitat restoration and runoff and erosion control projects.

Our Goals

  • Participate

    Increase property owner participation in Healthy Lakes & Rivers.

  • Engage

    Maintain existing and engage new property owners as ambassadors of the Healthy Lakes & Rivers philosophy.

  • Support

    Increase the number of grant applications submitted by project coordinators and/or grant applicants.

  • Partner

    Grow a business partner network to promote Healthy Lakes & Rivers and provide technical and installation assistance.

Our Team & Partners


Collaboration and participation were key in this team effort to create Wisconsin’s Healthy Lakes & Rivers Action Plan and our statewide initiative. We would like to thank the staff, agency, business, and citizen partners, including Advanced Lake Leaders, who provided feedback for our team and the many partners who completed a customer survey and provided valuable comments during the public review of proposed Department of Natural Resources guidance.

Dave Ferris

Dave Ferris


Tom Onofrey

Tom Onofrey

photo coming soon

Alison Mikulyuk

Patrick Goggin

Patrick Goggin


Carroll Schaal

Carroll Schaal

Amy Kowalski

Amy Kowalski


photo coming soon

Laura MacFarland

Alex Delvoye

Alex Delvoye


Pamela Toshner

Pamela Toshner

We would like to express our gratitude to the following contributors and information sources:

Tom Aartila
Raechelle Belli
Cheryl Clemens
Karen Engelbretson
John Haack
Dave Kafura
Jesha LaMarche
Jane Malischke
Eric Olson
Flory Olson
Tim Parks
Bret Shaw
Shelly Thomsen
Scott Toshner
Victoria Ziegler
Bone Lake Management District
Maine Lake Smart Program
Vermont Lake Wise Program

Contacts


We appreciate your continued feedback, please contact us if you have comments or questions.


Pamela Toshner

Pamela Toshner
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
T: 715-635-4073
Pamela.Toshner@wisconsin.gov


Lakes and Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Control Grant Contacts

For assistance with specific or science-related aspects of your project, contact the Lakes or AIS Grants Coordinator in your area. For assistance with financial aspects of your project, contact the Environmental Grant Specialist in your area.

Download contact list
Additional information on Lakes and AIS grants


River Planning and Management Grant Contacts

For assistance with specific or science-related aspects of your project, contact the River Coordinator in your area. For assistance with financial aspects of your project, contact the Environmental Grant Specialist in your area.

Download contact list
Additional information on River Planning and Management grants

Science of Healthy Lakes


The science of lake and river management has advanced significantly over the last few decades. We better understand natural science – how lakes and rivers function and the importance of shorelands to lake and river health, as well as the social science – how people and their attitudes and behaviors affect lakes and rivers.

Natural Science
Social Science