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Grants available to target invasive species

LANSING — Michigan’s Invasive Species Grant Program is now accepting proposals for the 2020 funding cycle, with an anticipated $3.6 million available to applicants.

The program is cooperatively implemented by the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, the Department of Natural Resources, and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. It is part of a statewide initiative launched in 2014 to help prevent, detect and control invasive species in Michigan.

“Our state’s natural resources, both land and water, are threatened by invasive species that harm our environment, economy and even human health,” said Gary McDowell, director, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. “The Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program is a critical tool in addressing these threats — both on the local level with Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas and on a statewide scale by supporting advances in prevention and control.”

The 2020 grant program handbook outlines priorities and application guidelines. Applicants also can take advantage of a two-part webinar on Thursday:

— Part 1 starts at 9 a.m. Eastern time and will focus on general grant information, 2020 priorities and the application process.

— Part 2 follows at 10 a.m. and will explain the Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area application process and funding for 2020.

Both the handbook and webinar registration information are available at Michigan.gov/MISGP. A recorded version of the webinar will be available at this website after Nov. 10.

This year the program is seeking projects to detect and control high-risk invasive species, including Japanese stiltgrass and hemlock woolly adelgid, and to initiate surveys in high-quality environments like Great Lakes islands.

The program supports projects throughout the state that prevent, detect, manage and eradicate invasive species on the ground and in the water. Total funding is set by the Legislature and the governor during the annual budget cycle.

Since its inception, the program has awarded over $21 million to 144 projects.

Local, state, federal and tribal units of government, nonprofit organizations and universities may apply for funding to support invasive species projects in Michigan. Full project proposals are due Dec. 11. Award announcement is anticipated in March 2021.

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