Conservation districts receive grant to fight invasive species

Conservation districts receive grant to fight invasive species

MUNISING — A coalition of central U.P. environmental groups has just received nearly $250,000 in state grants to fight invasive plants.

The Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program has given money to the Central U.P. Cooperative Weed Management Area.

The Alger Conservation District is one of the agencies that form the management area. It applied for the grant on behalf of the group.

“Not only does it fund our projects, but it also funds projects for all of our many partners, which include the Marquette Conservation District, the Delta Conservation District, the (U.S.) Forest Service, Pictured Rocks, private entities like the Forestland Group, Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve and a whole slew of others,” Alger Conservation District executive director Teri Grout said.

The funding is a two-year grant.

It’ll cover garlic mustard prevention efforts, which the Alger Conservation District has done for years, as well as some new projects, like “using EDNA, or environmental DNA, to assess some of our inland lakes for aquatic invasive species,” Grout said. “It’s going to help us look for some new invasive species and map things like Japanese and giant knotweed.”

The DNR, DEQ and Michigan Department of Agriculture program is distributing more than $4 million statewide. Several other U.P. conservation districts and agencies have also received funding through it.