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State Awards $3.6 Million In Grants To Combat Invasive Species

Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program will fund 19 projects across the state

The Michigan departments of Natural Resources, Environmental Quality and Agriculture and Rural Development today announced the award of 19 grant projects totaling $3.6 million, under the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program. The program – a joint effort of the three departments – is part of a statewide initiative launched in 2014 to help prevent and control invasive species in Michigan.

This grant program seeks to strengthen partners’ efforts in:

  • Preventing, through outreach and education, new introductions of invasive species.
  • Monitoring for the introduction of new invasive species and the expansion of current invasive species.
  • Responding to and working to eradicate new findings and range expansions.
  • Strategically managing and controlling key colonized species.

Grant amounts range from approximately $35,000 to $350,000, and recipients include nonprofit organizations, universities, conservation districts and other units of government. The full list of grant recipients, project descriptions and grant amounts is available on the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program Web page.

“Invasive species pose significant risk to Michigan’s world-class natural resources, and funding from this program is vital to our continued fight against these invaders,” said DNR Director Bill Moritz. “These important grant dollars will aid our partners in their efforts to battle invasive species. Their hard work will go a long way toward protecting our natural resources, as well as the many recreational and economic opportunities tied to Michigan’s woods and waters.”

A portion of the funding supports Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMAs), including five new CISMAs that will provide local leadership for invasive species detection and management in 13 counties, as well as continuing CISMA efforts in seven counties.

Several projects are designed to reduce the introduction and spread of invasive species via pathways such as firewood, recreational travel and ship ballast water. Outreach campaigns targeting oak wilt, invasive plants and aquarium pets will help industries and consumers adopt strategies to prevent those species’ unintentional introduction and spread in Michigan.

Funding will expand efforts to eradicate invasive phragmites from coastal areas and wetlands in Saginaw Bay and the Upper Peninsula through aggressive treatment, monitoring and strategic management and restoration planning.

A host of technologies, including high-resolution satellite and drone imagery, radio telemetry and environmental DNA will assist in detecting and controlling populations of European frogbit, invasive phragmites and feral swine.

The DNR began accepting grant applications for this funding cycle in July 2015. After the original call for pre-proposals (which yielded 55 applications seeking a total of $9.2 million), the department received 25 full proposals, requesting more than $5 million in support. Grant applicants were asked to commit to providing at least 10 percent of the total project cost in the form of a local match.

Learn more about invasive species in Michigan at www.michigan.gov/invasivespecies.

/Note to editors: Accompanying photos are available below for download. Suggested captions follow. (Photo credit Michigan Department of Natural Resources, unless noted otherwise.)

Oak wilt.jpg: Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program-funded projects include some to reduce the spread of oak wilt, which can kill infected stands of trees in a matter of months.

Invasive phragmites.jpg: Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas, or CISMAs, work to control invasive species including phragmites, which has taken over coastal areas, wetlands and roadsides across Michigan. (Photo credit Bernd Blossey, Cornell University, Bugwood.org)

European frogbit removal.jpg: European frogbit, which resembles miniature lily pads, has been found in wetlands along Michigan’s eastern shoreline from Lake Erie to the St. Marys River./


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