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Grants available to battle invasive species in Michigan

Funding proposals for 2018 now are being accepted through the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program, with an anticipated $3.6 million available to applicants. The program – a joint effort of the Michigan departments of Natural Resources, Environmental Quality, and Agriculture and Rural Development – is part of a statewide initiative launched in 2014 to help prevent and control invasive species in Michigan.

An invasive species is one that is not native and whose introduction causes harm, or is likely to cause harm to Michigan’s economy, environment or human health.

“The Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program gives our community partners across the state important support in finding better ways of preventing and containing these damaging land and water invaders,” said DNR Director Keith Creagh. “We have to do everything possible to protect the world-class natural resources and outdoor recreation opportunities that define life in Michigan. These vital grant dollars go a long way toward making that happen.”

Program handbook, educational webinar

The 2018 grant program handbook, outlining priorities and information on how to apply, is available on the DNR website michigan.gov/dnrgrants.

A live webinar explaining the 2018 grant process and priorities is scheduled for Wednesday, May 23, from 10 to 11 a.m.

Interested applicants can register for the webinar at michigan.gov/invasivespecies.

A recorded version of the webinar also will be available at this website after May 23.

Program progress
Administered by the DNR, the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program supports projects throughout the state that prevent, detect, manage and eradicate invasive species on the ground and in the water. Total program funding is set by the Legislature and the governor during the annual budget cycle.

In the four years since its inception, the program has awarded over $14 million to 78 projects resulting in management of invasive species including Phragmites, Japanese knotweed and oak wilt on more than 26,000 acres of land and water statewide.

Broad-scale efforts to detect and treat hemlock woolly adelgid and to improve management options for Eurasian watermilfoil, European frogbit and grass carp currently are under way. Highlights of the 2017 program are available in the Michigan Invasive Species Program Annual Report.

Regional Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMAs) are operating in all of Michigan’s 83 counties, providing assistance to the public in identifying and managing invasive species. Contact information for individual CISMAs can be found in the Local Resources section of the invasive species website.

2018 priorities
For 2018, the program is seeking projects to encourage target audiences, including recreational users and consumers, to adopt best practices for preventing the introduction and spread of invasive species. Emphasis also is placed on increased surveillance efforts for hemlock woolly adelgid and other watch list species.

Priority is given to support of Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas across the state and regional invasive species management efforts.

Projects to improve methods for detecting and managing established species including Eurasian watermilfoil and Phragmites, and those that improve biological understanding of invasive species such as red swamp crayfish, starry stonewort and Japanese and giant knotweed are also prioritized.

Important program dates, grant parameters

Local, state, federal and tribal units of government, nonprofit organizations and universities may apply for funding to support invasive species projects conducted in Michigan. For this 2018 funding cycle, pre-proposals will be accepted through June 13 and requested full proposals will be due in September 2018.

Grant requests for 2018 projects can range from a minimum of $25,000 to a maximum of $400,000. Applicants must commit to provide 10 percent of the total project cost in the form of a local match.

Competitive applications will outline clear objectives, propose significant ecological benefits, demonstrate diverse collaboration and show strong community support.