DEEP Requests Grant Proposals for Aquatic Invasive Species Control on Lakes, Ponds, and Rivers
Program to Allocate $500,000; Applications Due by January 31, 2024
(HARTFORD) — The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is now accepting proposals for the State’s Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Grant Program. The program makes $500,000 available to reduce impacts of aquatic invasive species on inland waters in Connecticut. Applications will be accepted through January 31, 2024.
Municipalities, state agencies, and not-for-profit organizations are eligible to receive grants through this program.
Aquatic invasive species, such as Zebra Mussels and Hydrilla, are a serious threat to our ecosystems. They negatively affect native plants and animals and are extremely costly to control. The dense mats formed by invasive plants make boating, fishing, and swimming difficult. They directly impact both the quality of outdoor recreation in Connecticut and the state’s outdoor recreation economy, of which boating and fishing are the largest contributors.
“Aquatic invasive species are not just a serious threat to our ecosystems – they are a direct attack on Connecticut’s outdoor recreation economy,” said DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes. “These species are costly to counteract, but the grants will enable the recipients to do the critical work of researching and controlling aquatic invasives, which will preserve the quality of our state’s waterways and outdoor recreational opportunities.”
Connecticut has awarded approximately $952,700 to 46 projects statewide during the first three years of the AIS Grant Program. Examples of the various projects selected include:
- Town of Coventry: Hydrilla treatment for Coventry Lake
- Candlewood Lake Authority: Candlewood Lake Steward Program to Educate Boaters on Aquatic Invasives Threatening Candlewood Lake
- Connecticut River Watershed Council: Water Chestnut tracking and management in the Connecticut River watershed
Visit https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Business-and-Financial-Assistance/Grants-Financial-Assistance/Grants-for-the-Control-of-Aquatic-Invasive-Species for details on how to apply for AIS grants.
Boaters are reminded that according to Connecticut General Statute 15-180, no person shall transport a vessel, or any trailer used to transport such vessel, in Connecticut without first inspecting such vessel for the presence of vegetation and aquatic invasive species and properly removing and disposing of any such vegetation and aquatic invasive species that are visible and identifiable. Any person who violates the provisions shall be fined not more than $100 for each violation. Connecticut boaters who do not purchase the Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Stamp upon registration of their vessel are subject to a fine of $103. Anyone intending to operate an out-of-state registered vessel on Connecticut inland waters also must purchase an AIS Stamp.
The AIS 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.