$3.6 million in grants available to fight invasive species

Courtesy:  Michigan DNR
LANSING — A handbook has been released outlining the scope and guidelines for the new Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program, made possible through funding in Gov. Rick Snyder’s fiscal year 2015 budget. The program is a joint effort of the Michigan departments of Natural Resources, Environmental Quality and Agriculture and Rural Development.

The grant program will devote at least $3.6 million toward projects to detect, prevent, manage and eradicate invasive species on the ground and in the water.

“The long-term health of Michigan’s natural resources is critical to our state’s economy and quality of life,” said DNR Director Keith Creagh. “The Asian carp, for instance, could devastate the $7 billion Great Lakes fishery. These grants will help us link with partner groups to address the significant threat invasive species pose to Michigan.”

The grant program is central to a new invasive species initiative, which brings a multi-department, comprehensive approach to the ongoing problem of harmful, non-native invaders. The initiative is made possible with funding first proposed by Gov. Snyder and approved by the Michigan Legislature. The governor and Legislature devoted $5 million in ongoing funding to invasive species beginning in the 2015 fiscal year. A minimum of $3.6 million of the funding will be devoted to grants, with additional grant funding possible.

Administered by the DNR, the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program targets four key objectives:

  • Preventing new introductions of invasive species through outreach and education.
  • Monitoring for new invasive species as well as expansions of current invasive species.
  • Responding and conducting eradication efforts to new findings and range expansions.
  • Managing and controlling key colonized species in a strategic manner.

The program begins October 2014 and will operate each year that funding is available. Local, federal and tribal units of government, nonprofit organizations and universities may apply for a Michigan Invasive Species Grant for work to be conducted in Michigan. Applications must be submitted by Dec. 5, 2014, and those applicants approved for funding will be announced Feb. 15, 2015. Projects funded through this grant cycle must be completed by Oct. 30, 2016.

Collaborative projects will receive higher scoring than those for individual agencies. The minimum grant amount is $25,000 and applicants must commit to provide at least 10 percent of the total project cost in the form of a local match. Applicants with more than a 10-percent match will receive greater scoring consideration.

“The Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program is a critical component of the state’s comprehensive invasive strategy to prevent new invasions, limit the spread of existing invasions and control their associated impacts,” said Creagh. “This program will greatly benefit Michigan’s world-class natural resources.”

Learn more about the new invasive species initiative – including the grant program – at: www.michigan.gov/invasivespecies.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.