Oconto County Lakes & Waterways Association

The purpose of Oconto County Lakes and Waterways Association (OCLAWA) is to promote the conservation and preservation of all lakes, rivers, streams, and flowages in Oconto County including the watershed around them, for today's and future generations.

To be a leading advocate for the health of all surface waters in Oconto County by promoting the programs and actions that represent the current best practices for addressing water quality issues and to develop financial support methods for the application of those practices.

Oconto County Healthy Waters Cost Share Program
In 2017, OCLAWA made a presentation to Oconto County Board of Supervisors regarding the many issues affecting the lakes and waterways of the county and the need for support from Oconto County government. Following this presentation, the Land Conservation Committee developed a resolution requesting that $231,000 of remaining funds from an electrical transmission line project's environmental impact fee be set aside for use to aid in water quality projects. This resolution was approved and thus began the Oconto County Healthy Waters Cost Share Program.

Lake organizations are eligible to receive funding from this program to help finance lake improvement projects. Successful applicants are eligible for 10% of the total project cost if the applicant is receiving State or Federal grants. If the applicant is not receiving State or Federal grants, they may receive up to 50% of the total project cost. In either case, the maximum cost share amount will be $7,000.

Any group applying for a Lake Protection Grant from the State should apply for the Oconto County Healthy Waters Cost Share Grant as the 10% county amount will create extra credit for your State application, as State grants are becoming increasingly more competitive.

To apply for the Oconto County Healthy Waters Cost Share, contact Oconto County Conservationist, Ken Dolata, before September 1 of the year prior to your expected project.

Through the first three years of this program $81,000 has been awarded in support of twenty-two approved applications. With an annual budget of $35,000 the fund should last through 2024 to support healthy Oconto County lakes and rivers.

  • Participate in the monthly meetings of the Oconto County Land and Water Conservation Committee (LWCC) to maintain ongoing connection of County Supervisors with current surface water issues.
  • Wisconsin Water Week, online week-long water education event, is scheduled for March 8-12, 2021. This event will replace the annual Wisconsin Lakes Convention. OCLAWA recommends each member organization solicits attendees from their membership.
  • In early April begin orientation of the new Tri-County Aquatic Coordinator, who will be hired to support AIS and CLMN efforts in Forest, Langlade, and Oconto counties. OCLAWA was a driving force for the establishment of this role and we look forward to this initial year's progress.
  • OCLAWA annual meeting is scheduled for Saturday, April 24, 2021 beginning at 9AM at the Riverview Town Hall & Pavilion.
  • Conduct cash raffle with tickets to be available at OCLAWA annual meeting and the drawing to be held at our Fall meeting on Saturday, August 28. 2021 held at the Riverview Town Hall & Pavilion starting at 9AM.
  • In April/May, coordinate Clean Boats/Clean Waters (CB/CW) training sessions in support of five member groups that have received State grants to conduct watercraft inspections on area waters for 2021. One session will be in Oconto and the other in the Lakewood/Townsend area.
  • Conduct our fourth annual Snapshot Day on Saturday, August 21, 2021 beginning at 9AM at the Riverview Town Hall & Pavilion to provide training on the identification of aquatic invasive species (AIS) and conduct sampling on area waters.
  • September 1, 2021 deadline date for submitting initial applications for Wisconsin Surface Water Grants, Lumberjack RC&D Grants, and Oconto County Healthy Waters Cost Share Grants for 2022 projects.
  • November 1, 2021 deadline for final grant applications.

OCLAWA is an association for organizations who share a common value in protecting the health of the surface water throughout Oconto County. Our current membership includes:If your group is not on this list, please join now and attend our activities.