Applications accepted through May 27, 2020
MADISON, WI – The Yahara Watershed Improvement Network, or Yahara WINS, is now
accepting grant applications from area organizations for innovative, low-cost projects that
will help reduce the amount of phosphorus in local waterways. Excessive phosphorus can
cause dangerous and unsightly algae blooms in local lakes, rivers and streams, reduce
water quality and harm aquatic life.
“Improving the quality of our local waterways through phosphorus reduction requires
collaborative, adaptive and innovative approaches,” says Martye Griffin, president, Yahara
WINS executive committee. “Our Innovation Grant Program is designed to encourage bigpicture thinking to help reduce phosphorus pollution by minimizing the risks and costs
associated with testing and implementing new ideas.”
Yahara WINS seeks to invest $50,000 in its Innovation Grant Project. Proposed projects can
target either agricultural runoff or urban stormwater, the two primary contributors of
phosphorus to waterways. The maximum award for a single project is $10,000.
Projects should be relatively new or untested and have compelling value as a test case. The
projects are not required to take place in the Yahara watershed as long as the lessons learned
can be applied in the watershed. Recent examples include demonstration projects on new
agricultural practices, improved and innovative leaf management techniques, and whole pond
Yahara WINS has offered grants since 2013 as part of an effort to reduce phosphorus through
low-cost methods. Since inception, the grant program has awarded approximately $338,500
and kept an estimated 66,000 pounds of phosphorus out of local waters. One pound of
phosphorus can potentially create up to 500 pounds of blue-green algae.
Yahara WINS is comprised of partners across more than 30 area municipal and county
entities, farm groups, water stakeholder organizations and other local entities. Yahara WINS
partners pool their resources and provide funding for practices that reduce all sources of
phosphorus runoff as part of a 20-year project to achieve water quality goals for the Yahara
For questions about the innovation grants or to submit materials, email Kathy Lake, Madison
Metropolitan Sewerage District pollution prevention manager, at [email protected]
Applications will be accepted until May 27, 2020.