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DEEP Announces Recipients of Second Annual Round of Grants for Aquatic Invasive Species Control on Lakes, Ponds and Rivers

$370,000 Awarded to 15 Projects that Will Help Restore CT Waterbodies

(HARTFORD)-The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) today announced the recipients of the second round of grant funding through the Aquatic Invasive Species Grant Program, with a total of $370,000 going to 15 projects to reduce impacts of aquatic invasive species on inland waters in Connecticut.    

The Aquatic Invasive Species Grant Program was made possible in 2019 when the Connecticut General Assembly established an Aquatic Invasive Species Stamp fee (Public Act 19-190) applied to all registered boats using Connecticut waters, to provide a dedicated funding source for the “Connecticut Lakes, Rivers and Ponds Preservation Account." This account funds programs to protect the state’s lakes, ponds and rivers by addressing aquatic invasive species and cyanobacteria blooms. 

Aquatic invasive species, such asZebra mussels and Hydrilla, are a serious threat to our ecosystems. They negatively impact native plants and animals, they are extremely costly to control, and the dense mats formed by invasive plants make boating, fishing, and swimming difficult. This has a direct impact on both the quality of outdoor recreation in Connecticut, and the state’s outdoor recreation economy, of which boating and fishing are the largest contributors.  

For this round of funding, DEEP had a total of $370,000 to award for eligible control, research and education and outreach projects.The maximum grant award was $50,000. Requests for larger grants (up to $75,000) were considered, but only for exceptional and well-justified proposals. Matching funds were required and had to equal or exceed 25% of the total project cost.    

Municipalities, state agencies (including state colleges and universities), and not-for-profit organizations were eligible to receive grants through this program. Eligible project proposals included conducting a project to restore an inland water body of the state through the control and management of a population of aquatic invasive species; research projects to enhance understanding and knowledge of aquatic invasive species and/or cyanobacteria blooms (must have direct practical applicability to lakes, ponds and rivers in Connecticut); and education and outreach projects intended to enhance public awareness of aquatic invasive species and/or harmful algal blooms in Connecticut and/or promote good practices to prevent the further spread of aquatic invasive species in Connecticut’s lakes, ponds and rivers. For control and management projects, the target species must have existed in the project water body as of December 7, 2021.   

DEEP received a total of 26 project applications requesting funding. Of those, 15 projects were selected for funding based on our criteria. The projects receiving funding this round are:  


Project Location

Project Type/Description

Funding Awarded

Bantam Lake Protective Association

Bantam Lake

Research: Diagnostic-Feasibility Analysis of Aeration Alternatives Bantam Lake – Morris/Litchfield, CT


Connecticut River Watershed Council

Connecticut River

Control/Management: Water Chestnut Tracking and Management in the Connecticut River Watershed


Connecticut River Watershed Council

Whalebone Creek (CT River)

Research: Pilot Project to Study Hydrilla Hand Removal and Restoration Techniques


Farmington River Watershed Association

Rainbow Reservoir

Research: Investigating cyanobacteria blooms in Rainbow Reservoir (Farmington River) Windsor, CT to continue data collection and evaluate a treatment experiment.


Friends of Lake Williams, Inc.

Lake Williams

Control/Management: Control of Variable Water Milfoil and Fanwort on Lake Williams, Lebanon CT


Candlewood Lake Authority

Candlewood Lake

Education/Outreach: Candlewood Lake Steward Program to Educate Boaters on Aquatic Invasives Threatening Candlewood Lake


Lake Lillinonah Authority

Lake Lillinonah

Control/Management: 2022 Lake Lillinonah Invasive Weed Removal Proposal


Mamanasco Lake Improvement Fund

Mamanasco Lake

Control/Management: Control of Curly-Leaf Pondweed in Mamanasco Lake, Ridgefield, CT


Quaddick Lake Association

Quaddick Reservoir

Control/Management: Control/Management of Variable Leaf Watermilfoil & Fanwort in Quaddick Reservoir, Thompson, Connecticut


Town of Coventry

Coventry Lake

Control/Management: Hydrilla Treatment for Coventry Lake


Town of Goshen

Dog Pond

Control/Management: Dog Pond Aquatic Plant Monitoring, Removal, and Treatment


Town of Middlefield

Beseck Lake

Control/Management: Control of Myriophylum Spicatum at Beseck Lake, Middlefield, CT


Town of New Fairfield

Ball Pond

Research: Survey and Mapping of Vegetation in Ball Pond as Part of a Lake Management Plan


Town of Vernon

Lower Bolton Lake and Middle Bolton Lake

Control/Management: AIS and Cyanobacteria Management of the Bolton Lakes, Vernon & Bolton, CT


Western Connecticut State University

Candlewood Lake/Squantz Pond

Research: Investigations into the behaviors of triploid grass carp at Candlewood Lake and the impacts of overstocking at Squantz Pond



DEEP is committed to reducing the spread of aquatic invasive species in Connecticut. In addition to the Aquatic Invasive Species Grant Program, DEEP’s Fisheries Division has hired twoEnvironmental Protection Seasonal Resource Assistants to serve as Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Stewards on the Connecticut River. In recent years, hydrilla and other AIS have become increasingly abundant within the Connecticut River.  If left unchecked, AIS have the potential to displace native species as well as impact habitat quality, navigation, recreational opportunities, and property values.  AIS Stewards will play a critical role in increasing public awareness about and preventing the spread of these species both within the Connecticut River and to other waters through education and outreach.  Their duties will include interacting with and educating boaters at boat launches along the Connecticut River about aquatic invasive species and clean boating practices; performing voluntary inspections of boats and trailers as they enter and exit boat launch areas to check for and remove aquatic invasive plants and animals; and assisting with public outreach events.  


To learn more about aquatic invasive species in Connecticut, visit the DEEP website, here.

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