The introduction and spread of invasive plants in Connecticut poses a serious threat to the biodiversity of native ecosystems, and can affect the ecological, recreational, and economic interests of the state. Nonindigenous invasive plants have the potential to establish and spread rapidly due to a lack of physical and biological constraints in the habitats to which they have been introduced. In 2003, the Connecticut General Assembly established the Invasive Plant Council (IPC) (Public Act 03-136) to develop strategies regarding public education, control methods, prevention, and related activities to begin addressing the adverse consequences of invasive plants. The IPC currently has a total of up to $175,000 to provide to Connecticut municipalities in FY 2008/2009 to fund projects controlling or eradicating invasive plants on publically accessible lands and waters.
Who may apply
Only municipalities are eligible to receive grants through this program. Not-For-Profit conservation organizations (with 501(c)(3) status) and local interest organizations such as unincorporated lake associations can develop project proposals in collaboration with municipalities but only the municipality in which the project site is located can apply for funding. If the property or water body is located in more than one municipality, two or more municipalities may apply jointly. The property or water body must be located in Connecticut.
What types of projects are eligible for funding
Eligible project proposals should be for the control/eradication of non-native invasive plant species. Preferred projects will target new infestations (first observed at the property or water body within the last three years) or a recently-arrived invasive species with only a limited number of populations in the state. Eligible target species will be those plant species listed in the Connecticut Invasive Plant List in accordance with Sections 22a-381a and 22a-381b, or listed in Section 22a-381d of the Connecticut General Statutes (see Appendix E). Target properties and water bodies may be either publicly or privately owned and must be open to public access and use. Project proposals targeting native species, or for routine, periodic “maintenance” of invasive species are not eligible for funding.
Below are a few examples of eligible and ineligible projects (reasoning in parenthesis following each example):
Removal/eradication of mile-a-minute vine by hand pulling and herbicide application on land trust property open to full public access. (invasive species, full public access, also limited distribution of plant in CT).
Herbicide treatment to eradicate parrotfeather (Myriophyllum aquaticum) infestation in a lake with a state boat launch. (invasive species, full public access, also new infestation in CT)
Eradication of yellow floating heart (Nymphoides peltata) by dredging and hand pulling from a town-owned pond open to the public. (invasive plant, publicly accessible)
Eradication (herbicides, mowing prior to seed set) of Japanese stilt grass patches along hiking trail protected by permanent easement on otherwise private property. (highly invasive species, although on “private property”, trail is publicly accessible and trail corridor is protected through easement)
Roadside spraying of poison ivy and other “weeds” along highway guardrails. (routine maintenance, native species)
Annual use of a mechanical harvester to clear boat lanes of Eurasian water milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) in a lake with public access. (routine maintenance).
Herbicide treatment of unusually dense growths of common bladderwort (Utricularia vulgaris) on a lake with a state boat launch. (native species).
Proposals will first be reviewed for completeness and eligibility, and then rated by DEP staff. Only complete applications will be reviewed further for eligibility (see Appendix F for an application checklist), and only projects determined to be eligible will be rated.
The Invasive Plants Council will then review the rated applications and submit recommendations to DEP concerning project selection. Subsequently, applicants will receive written notification from DEP of the decision on their application. Decisions may include suggested and/or mandatory modifications of the project and funding of the project in an amount that differs from the proposal.
Following approval of the project application, a contract will be drafted and mailed out for signature by the grant recipient and returned for subsequent state contract approval. Project work to be funded by the grant cannot begin until the execution date of the contract, and project funding cannot be released until a fully executed contract is in effect.
In order to be deemed eligible for funding, applicants must meet eligibility requirements and review criteria (See Attachment A), follow application instructions (Attachment B), complete and submit a project proposal cover page (Attachment C), complete and submit a budget summary page (Attachment D), and submit all other materials as indicated in the application instructions.
Proposed projects must be completed within approximately one year from the contract execution date. All seasonal constraints that may prolong the project duration must be specifically discussed in the proposal. Proposals which demonstrate a commitment to maintain and continue the project beyond the initial year in which it is implemented, without DEP support, are encouraged and will receive additional consideration.
Awards will be provided for both terrestrial and aquatic projects (unless sufficient and suitable proposals are not submitted for one of the two categories). The upper limit for a project is $50,000 and lower limit is $2,500. Requests for larger grants (up to $75,000) may be considered, but only for exceptional and well-justified proposals. Matching funds are required for at least 25% of project costs (the State will provide up to 75% of the cost).
Indirect costs are not eligible for funding through the grant, but may be used as part of applicant’s match. At project completion, the awardee must submit a final report. This report must include a detailed financial summary. This financial summary must show full project costs and clearly identify direct grant costs as well as matching and in-kind costs. As post-treatment monitoring is an important aspect of invasive species control and management, please ensure that these reports are provided to DEP. They will be useful in determining which actions are most effective, and just as important, identify those actions that are not successful.
A maximum of two (2) proposals may be submitted for consideration by an individual applicant.
Complete information and materials for applicants including eligibility requirements, review criteria, application instructions, fillable forms of the proposal cover page and budget summary, and an invasive plants list can be downloaded from below:
Announcement (Complete announcement, includes additional information for applicants) (PDF)
Attachment A, Eligibility Requirements and Review Criteria (PDF)
Attachment B, Application Instructions (PDF)
Attachment C, Proposal Cover Page (DOC – fillable form)
Attachment D, Budget Summary Form (DOC – fillable form)
Attachment E, List of Invasive Plants (PDF)
Attachment F, Applicant’s Checklist (PDF)
Full RFP (Announcement and Attachments A through F in one document) (PDF)