Be a solution to nonoint source pollution

Note icon.Note: Due to funding limitations, the NPS Minigrant Program has been discontinued.  At times limited funds may be available by special arrangement or if projects are specifically solicited by the department. Contact Trish Rielly at 573-526-4662 for more information.

When nonpoint source pollution enters our waters as runoff (water that has flowed over the surface of a yard, feedlot, construction site, or parking lot) it can degrade Missouri streams, rivers, reservoirs and groundwater. If there is a nonpoint source pollution problem in a water body near you, a minigrant may allow you to address the problem.

Minigrants may be available to a variety of groups and non-profit organizations, as well as state and local government agencies. Minigrants are a good way to begin addressing local issues.  They allow citizens to organize and build capacity.  Small grants help local citizen groups become familiar with the grant process and requirements, preparing them for future grants.


All department nonpoint source pollution grant funds are provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act. These funds are awarded by the U.S. EPA, Region 7 who awards them to the department. The department administers some of these funds to eligible sponsors. Eligible sponsors include state and local agencies, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) status who are interested in addressing nonpoint source pollution problems. Minigrants are a type of subgrant that can be used to fund a project that addresses nonpoint source pollution. Like other 319 nonpoint source pollution subgrants, research projects or activities required by a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System are not eligible for funding through the Minigrant Program.

Program Goal

The current goal of the Minigrant Program is to provide financial assistance for building watershed protection capacity in watersheds targeted by Missouri’s Nonpoint Source Management Plan and other water quality initiatives, such as the Mississippi River Basin Initiative and National Water Quality Initiative.  The Minigrant Program provides funds to implement projects that will decrease nonpoint source pollution of waters in Missouri.  Specifically, the minigrant program will support small projects that:

  • Create a citizenry that is accurately informed about the causes, extent, and control of nonpoint source water pollution and water quality issues.
  • Provide an opportunity for involved citizens and other stakeholders to improve water quality through nonpoint source water pollution prevention or remediation.

Project Requirements

  1. Eligible organizations include state and local agencies, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations with 501(c)(3) status. Proof of 501(c) status is required.
  2. Projects must address nonpoint source water pollution to be considered for funding (e.g., provide information, education, demonstration, prevention, or correction of existing environmental impacts).
  3. Projects that are funded through the Minigrant Program are usually short-term and cannot exceed 18 months in duration from the project's start date.
  4. Minigrants can provide up to $10,000 in federal funding for a project, and a matching 40 percent of funding or non-federal in-kind contributions is required by the sponsoring agency or subgrantee as in the form of donated goods and services, volunteer hours, equipment or materials, or other type of "in-kind" services or contributions.  Calculating 40% match on $10,000 equals $6,667.  The required minimum match can be calculated as follows: (40/60) x (the requested federal amount).

Ineligible Activities

Successful Project Examples

Karst in the Ozarks: Ozarks Resource Center


The Ozarks Resource Center produced an 18-minute documentary explaining how landforms in the Ozarks developed over eons resulting in numerous rivers, caves and springs. The video also demonstrates how Karst features are uniquely vulnerable to nonpoint source pollution. Viewers can enjoy dramatic footage of some of Missouri's best-known natural features and rare creatures. This fact-filled video is ideal for middle school and high school science classes and is accompanied by a supplemental curriculum with hands-on, interactive lessons. The curriculum correlates with Missouri's science grade level expectations covering geosphere, inquiry and science impacts. The curriculum and multiple versions of the video are available at

Healthy Yards for Clear Streams, Sponsor: University of Missouri Extension

Healthy Yards for Clear Streams logo

Through a workshop series, University of Missouri Extension offices throughout the state teach about the connections between quality landscapes and environmentally friendly practices to increase public awareness.  With this grant, educational efforts demonstrate yard care/maintenance practices home owners can easily use to reduce the amount of runoff from their property and to prevent excess lawn care products (fertilizers and pesticides) from entering our waterways.  Additional information about the program can be found at

South Grand River Watershed Alliance Community Rain Gardens

The South Grand River Watershed Alliance, or SGRWA, in partnership with Raymore-Peculiar Middle School and Harrisonville Elementary School installed two community rain gardens to demonstrate their effectiveness as a landscaping feature to reduce nonpoint source pollution in the waters of the South Grand River Watershed. The project also established a nonpoint source education curriculum to guide the schools' educational efforts  Students were involved in site preparation, appropriate native plant selection, installation, and maintenance of the rain garden. Teachers will be supplied with the curriculum to facilitate long-term use of the gardens by new classes.

Application Criteria

A minigrant may provide information and education on nonpoint source issues, fund water quality monitoring, support restoration, protection or conservation of water resources, or directly address nonpoint source pollution problems. All minigrant applications must explain how they will address nonpoint source pollution in at least one of the following ways:

  1. Increase public knowledge of nonpoint source pollution and their impact on surface water and groundwater quality.
  2. Increase public and commercial awareness of alternative practices that can prevent or reduce nonpoint source water pollution.
  3. Encourage individuals to assess and modify practices and behaviors that contribute to nonpoint source pollution.
  4. Develop tools and programs to encourage longterm behavioral changes toward sound preventive practices.
  5. Encourage local partnerships and public participation in efforts to restore, conserve, and protect water resources threatened by nonpoint source pollution.

Minigrant Availiblity

Contact Colleen Meredith at 573-751-4932 for availability.

If funds are available and arrangement has been confirmed by the department a complete proposal must include the following items:

  • Application form.
  • Narrative.
  • Detailed budget.
  • Letters of commitment from partners.
  • One signed copy of the proposal and one electronic copy.

The table below is an approximate timetable for minigrant reviews, awards, and approvals. 

Task Day
Application Submittal. 0
DNR intra-department review and project selection (if applicable.) 30 days
(business days)
DNR approval.  If approved, inform applicants and assign projects. 45 days
Estimated project start date 15 days
(business days)

Minigrant Application (if preapproved by the NPS Program Coordinator)

Download an application, detailed budget spreadsheet and instructions or contact the department for a hardcopy of application or additional information.

Submit one original signed copy and one electronic copy to the addresses below:

Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Attention: Soil and Water Conservation Program, Nonpoint Source Unit
P.O. Box 176
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0176

For more information, call 573-751-4932 or FAX 573-526-3508.