Healthy Lakes & Healthy Rivers

Promoting Lake and River Health

The goal of the Healthy Lakes & Healthy Rivers program is “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.”  (From Healthy Lakes & Healthy Rivers website.)

Wisconsin’s Healthy Lakes & Rivers Action Plan is “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.”

DNR funded and locally administered grants are available on a cost share basis. Jamie Van at the Discovery Center ([email protected]) and the Vilas County Land and Water Conservation Department ( are contacts for further information and provide entryways for the grant program.  The program provides funding and information that also will be useful for do-it-yourselfers.

The program promotes 5 best practice strategies:

  • 350 ft2 Native Plantings: Plantings of native wildflowers, grasses, shrubs and trees.
  • Fish Sticks: Submerged woody habitat structures.
  • Diversion: Practices to move or redirect run-off.
  • Rock Infiltration: Pits or trenches filled with rock to store and infiltrate run-off.
  • Rain Gardens: Landscaped depressions to collect and filter run-off.

To learn more about the Healthy Lakes & Healthy Rivers Program, visit their website: