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Wetland GP Surcharge Restoration Program

The Wetland General Permit (GP) Surcharge Restoration Program funds projects that benefit wetlands and associated aquatic resources through an annual RFP process.

Under s. 281.36 (11) a Wis. Stats., the DNR must charge a surcharge fee, to be used for wetland restoration, for each Wetland General Permit 1 issued. Depending on the size of the permitted impact, the surcharge is either $200 or $300 per permit. Funds generated from these surcharge fees are collected by the Department and then awarded to applicants through an annual application process. 

As of 2022, the Program has funded 11 projects totaling 165 acres of wetland restoration and 0.23 miles of stream restoration.

Application Process

Applications are reviewed annually.  Applications must be submitted by December 15 of each calendar year to be considered for that year’s funding.  Scoring and selection of projects will be completed by February 28 of the following year. 

Application packages should contain:

  • Application form (  (The file can be opened in Internet Explorer, or by first downloading it to your computer and then navigating to the file and opening it from there).
  • Project narrative (max 5 pages) – any additional information to explain or support your project such as design, details, photos, or letters of support.

All applications should be emailed to Josh Brown at by December 15, 2022.  All potential applicants should contact the DNR before applying.

Project Requirements

All projects should target the restoration of wetlands or aquatic resources and ideally contain a hydrologic restoration component (tile breaking, ditch filling, stream re-meandering).  Projects must be open to the public for hunting, fishing, trapping, cross-country skiing, or hiking or some combination thereof. The DNR is currently seeking project proposals totaling up to $75,000. Projects in past years have typically ranged from $20,000 - $40,000. 

Other preferred project components:

  • Match funding
  • Flood improvement (community/urban hydrologic benefit)
  • Significant water quality benefit (TMDL priority, 9-key element plan, etc.) 
  • Habitat nexus (project links or is contiguous to established habitat areas)
  • Benefits to rare wetland type or rare species
  • Benefits to critical habitat (spawning/breeding habitats, environmental corridors, etc.)
  • Permanent land protection (conservation easement, deed restriction, etc.)

Wetland GP Surcharge Restoration Project Map

wetland project map

Highlighted Projects

Evansville State Wildlife Area (Rock County)

The DNR Wildlife Management Program received $34,485 to complete a wetland restoration project on the Evansville State Wildlife Area. The project was completed in 2021.  Over 12,000 feet of drain tile was disabled and a 1,300-foot drainage ditch was filled to increase wildlife habitat, reduce flooding, and improve water quality.  This project is adjacent to both Allen Creek and the Evansville In-Lieu Fee wetland mitigation project. 

Grand River Marsh State Wildlife Area (Green Lake County)

In 2021, Ducks Unlimited received $42,000 to complete a 46-acre wetland restoration at the south edge of the DNR Grand River Marsh State Wildlife Area in Green Lake County.  Ditch plugs, water control structures, and wetland scrapes were completed to improve wildlife habitat and help control reed canary grass.

Mason Creek (Waukesha County)

Tall Pines Conservancy was awarded $20,000 to help complete the restoration of Mason Creek in northwest Waukesha County.  The restoration, to be completed in 2022, will consist of re-meandering a 0.23-mile section of Mason Creek, which is a Class I trout stream and adjacent wetland restoration. GP Surcharge Funds are being used to assist in permitting, bid review, and related administrative costs.  Other project partners include the City of Oconomowoc, North Lake Management District, and Trout Unlimited.

mason creek