Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $2 million in funding available through the Invasive Species Rapid Response and Control Grant Program for municipalities, not-for-profits, and educational institutions across the state. The program will support projects that target both aquatic and terrestrial invasive species throughout New York.
“This funding is critical to bolstering New York’s ability to control and remove invasive species that pose a threat to the health and wellbeing of our communities,” Governor Cuomo said. “These grants will provide the resources needed to preserve and protect our diverse environment, while ensuring the safety of New Yorkers in every corner of the state.”
The New York State Environmental Protection Fund is providing the $2 million in funding for eligible projects. Grants range from a minimum of $11,000 to $100,000, with a required 50 percent match. The deadline for grant applications is March 24, 2017. For a full list of eligible and ineligible projects, please view the Request for Application in the Grants Gateway.
New York is particularly vulnerable to invasive species due to its rich biodiversity and the state’s role as a center for international trade and travel. Once established, invasive species, such as emerald ash borer and zebra mussels, can spread rapidly through a region causing harm to the environment, human health, and the economy. Rapid response and control is a critical line of defense and helps to permanently remove invasive populations. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, the 2016-17 state budget included an additional $5.5 million in the EPF targeted specifically for invasive species control.
The highest scoring projects will emphasize early detection and rapid response, and provide measures to ensure long-term success. Grants will be awarded to applicants who clearly demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and track record to successfully complete the project. Priority will be given to projects that provide opportunities for public participation and are located on or in close proximity to public lands or waterbodies.Project sites must be located wholly within New York State.
DEC anticipates announcing grant awards in May 2017. Applicants can apply for the grant through Grants Gateway by visiting the following link.
State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “In addition to New York State’s already comprehensive prevention efforts, these grants will provide a strong line of defense against both aquatic and terrestrial invasive species.”
Senator Tom O’Mara, Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee said, “The uncontrolled spread of aquatic invasive species threatens to devastate regional tourism economies and cost local communities hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of jobs. We’ve appreciated the hard work of local leaders and concerned citizens throughout the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, and statewide, to protect our waterways and secure their quality and economic potential for generations to come. We’re hopeful that this stepped-up state assistance and investment, and other ongoing efforts, will continue to make a difference.”
Assemblyman Steve Englebright said, “Once invasive species become established, it can be extraordinarily difficult and costly to control or eradicate them. That’s why early detection and rapid response are essential to preventing the extensive ecological and economic damage that invasive species can bring. The grants from this new program will go far to help municipalities, not-for-profits, and higher educational institutions implement projects that will protect our land and waters from the spread of invasive species.”