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DEC: $3 million in grants available for invasive species projects


Wed, Aug 23rd 2023 07:30 pm

Grant applications accepted through Nov. 1

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos announced $3 million is available in the third round of the state’s Invasive Species Grant program (ISGP). This grant program, supported by the State Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), is designed to advance projects that target both aquatic and terrestrial invasive species across the state, with six funding categories that address invasive species spread prevention; early detection and rapid response; research; management planning; and education and outreach. DEC is accepting applications for these grants through Nov. 1.

These grants are part of New York’s significant investment to combat invasive species through control, removal, research and prevention,” Seggos said. “As an international center for trade and tourism, New York is extremely vulnerable to the threat of invasive species. Once established, species such as hydrilla, oak wilt, emerald ash borer, and Japanese knotweed spread rapidly, causing harm to our environment, agriculture systems and economy. With climate change fueling the spread of invasive species, these grants are an important tool to advance on-the-ground projects and educational initiatives to combat this urgent threat, and we urge all eligible entities to take advantage of this opportunity.”

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “The Invasive Species Grant program is a critical part of the state’s commitment to combating the spread of invasive species that can cause significant damage to our farms and agricultural crops, as well as our natural resources, wildlife and ecosystems. Now in its third round of funding, the program funds projects that prevent the spread of these pests from all sides. We’re grateful for DEC’s partnership in our shared mission of keeping New York’s environment safe.”

Municipalities, academic institutions, and not-for-profits may submit applications for funding for eligible projects in up to two of the following categories:

√ Aquatic invasive species watercraft spread prevention, boat steward education, and outreach/voluntary inspection;

√ Aquatic invasive species watercraft spread prevention – stewards – boat decontamination programs;

√ Invasive species early detection/rapid response and control;

√ Lake management planning and implementation;

√ Invasive species research; and

√ Invasive species education and outreach

Grant awards range from a minimum of $11,000 to a maximum of $200,000, with a required 25% match. Project locations must be located wholly within New York. Priority will be given to projects that include opportunities for public participation, are on or close to public lands or waterbodies, and emphasize long-term success. For full details about the grant opportunity including eligible projects and scoring criteria, visit the Invasive Species Grant program page on DEC’s website.

The 2023-24 state budget, Gov. Kathy Hochul maintained EPF funding at $400 million, the highest level of funding in the program's history. 

The EPF included $18.55 million targeted specifically for invasive species-related initiatives. DEC stated, “The EPF also provides funding for critical environmental programs such as land acquisition, farmland protection, enhanced recreational access, water quality improvement, and an aggressive environmental justice agenda.”

Applications are due by 3 p.m. Nov. 1. All grant applicants must register in the NYS Grants Gateway System before applying. Not-for-profit applicants are required to prequalify in the Grants Gateway system, so DEC recommends that applicants start the process in advance of the grant application due date.

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