The Minnesota DNR has opened the annual aquatic plant management grant process.
In 2022, a total of $1.25 million will be available to fund projects to help manage invasive aquatic plants. This includes $850,000 in special one-time funds to help lake associations manage invasive aquatic plants. These one-time grants will be available for both traditional control projects and projects focused on new infestations and innovative control methods.
The application deadline is 9 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 21. Applicants must submit an invasive aquatic plant management permit application through the Minnesota DNR Permitting and Reporting System (mndnr.gov/mpars) before submitting a grant application. A copy of the permit application must be submitted with the grant application.
On Thursday, January 27 from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. DNR AIS Research & Grants Coordinator Jake Walsh will be hosting a webinar for the 2022 AIS Control Grant Program. The hour will be split roughly equally between an overview of program information and Q&A. Click here to add the webinar to your calendar.
The webinar will be recorded and posted to the AIS Control Grant Program Webpage.
Special Initiative for Lake Associations: The Minnesota Legislature has made available a one-time appropriation of $850,000 for the 2022 AIS Control Grant Program. These funds must be dispersed in grants specifically to lake associations before July 1, 2022.
Organizations with taxing authority or that are associated with local governments, such as watershed districts, counties, lake improvement districts, park districts, tribes, and cities are not eligible to apply for these funds. The DNR will make up to $400,000 of regular program funding available for Traditional AIS Control Grants to other organizations such as local units of governments and tribes that are not eligible to apply for the one-time $850,000.
The one-time funds will be divided into two grant types available to lake associations for invasive aquatic plant management: Traditional AIS Control Grants and a one-time special initiative for New Infestations and Innovative Control Grants.
Traditional Control Grants: Up to $800,000 will be made available for Traditional Control Grants ($400,000 to lake associations and up to $400,000 to local units of government and tribes). These grants support control projects (a pre-treatment delineation and a treatment) for curly-leaf pondweed, Eurasian watermilfoil, and flowering rush. Grant amounts will be determined by proposed project acreage and will not exceed $10,000. On-time and complete applications for Traditional Control Grants will be randomly ordered for selection.
New Infestations and Innovative Control Grants: A total of $450,000 will be made available to lake associations managing new infestations (since Jan. 1, 2020) or lake associations that have demonstrated a commitment to innovative control, long-term monitoring, adaptive management, and management for other ecological benefits. These grants support control projects for curly-leaf pondweed, Eurasian watermilfoil, flowering rush, starry stonewort, or yellow iris. Grants will provide additional funds to support pre- and post-treatment monitoring through standardized point-intercept surveys. Grant amounts will be determined by proposed project acreage, with additional funds available for the additional pre- and post-treatment monitoring ($4,000). Grants will not exceed $25,000. Applications will be selected competitively based on the above criteria.
Two-Year Projects: For 2022, applicants for either grant type can propose a second year of treatment, receiving funds for a second delineation survey and treatment, as long as all grant work is completed before July 1, 2023. The grant award maximum will be $20,000 for two-year projects under a Traditional Control Grant and $50,000 for those under New Infestations and Innovative Control Grants. Waterbodies receiving two years of support for control projects in 2022 will not be eligible for AIS Control Grants in 2023.
More details regarding eligible costs can be found on the 2021 Aquatic Invasive Species Control Grant Program page of the DNR website (mndnr.gov/grants/aquatic_invasive/control-projects.html). Questions may be directed to DNR aquatic invasive species research and grants coordinator Jake Walsh or to DNR regional invasive species specialists (mndnr.gov/invasives/ais/contacts.html).