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Water: Lakes

EPA's Clean Lakes Program


The Clean Lakes Program was established in 1972 as section 314 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, to provide financial and technical assistance to States in restoring publicly-owned lakes. The program has funded a total of approximately $145 million of grant activities since 1976 to address lake problems but there have been no appropriations for the program since 1994. The section 314 Clean Lakes Program was reauthorized in September 2000 as part of the Estuaries and Clean Water Act of 2000 (PDF) (52 pp, 462K, About PDF) but no funds have been appropriated (View a copy of section 314 of the Clean Water Act).

EPA has not requested funds for the Clean Lakes Program in recent years, but rather has encouraged states in its December 1999 Supplemental Guidance for the Award of Section 319 Nonpoint Source Grants in FY 2000 (and previous guidance) to use section 319 funds to fund eligible activities that might have been funded in previous years under section 314. This guidance has a section on clean lakes that includes a suggestion that each state use at least 5 percent of its section 319 funds for Clean Lakes activities to address the restoration and protection needs of priority lakes, ponds and reservoirs. The guidance also suggests that states give priority to funding the following Clean Lakes activities: Lake Water Quality Assessment (LWQA) projects; Phase 1 Diagnostic/Feasibility Studies; Phase 2 Restoration/Implementation Projects; and Phase 3 Post-Restoration Monitoring Studies. In addition, the guidance added new data elements for Clean Lakes activities to the Grants Reporting and Tracking System (GRTS) to enable EPA and the states to track progress in the use of section 319 to support Clean Lakes activities. Finally, the guidance says that these Clean Lakes activities should be funded in lakes that are publicly owned and that have public access, consistent with the Clean Lakes regulations at 40 CFR 35 Subpart H.

Supplemental Guidance for the Award of Section 319 Nonpoint Source Grants in FY 2000 issued by EPA’s Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds on Dec. 21, 1999.

Guidance on Use of Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act Authorities to Address Management Needs for Lakes and Reservoirs issued by EPA's Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds on July 9, 1998.

Questions and Answers on the Relationship Between the Sec. 319 Nonpoint Source Program and the Sec. 314 Clean Lakes Program issued by EPA's Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds in Nov. 1996.

Clean Lakes Program 1993/94 Annual Report, EPA 841-S-95-003, Aug. 1995 (PDF) (46 pp, 271K, About PDF)

Clean Lakes Program Funding

Program Structure

Case Studies:

Kezar Lake, New Hampshire

Green Valley Lake, Iowa

Lake Bomoseen, Vermont


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