DEEP: Aquatic Invasive Species Grants to Municipalities: Notice of Availability

Grants To Municipalities For The Control Of
Aquatic Invasive Species

July 31, 2014

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is pleased to announce the availability of funding through the Connecticut General Assembly for aquatic invasive species abatement diagnostic feasibility studies and for aquatic invasive species control & management projects on inland waters of Connecticut. Invasive aquatic species can directly harm the state’s aquatic natural resources, and decrease the recreational, aesthetic and economic values of those resources. The goal of this program is to conserve the state’s resources by providing additional opportunities for the control of and/or preventing the establishment of aquatic invasive species.

Proposal deadline:  Monday, September 15th, 2014, at 4:00 pm.

An original and complete application must be received and date stamped at DEEP's, Bureau of Natural Resources – Inland Fisheries Division, located at 79 Elm Street, Hartford Connecticut by the proposal deadline. Faxed and e-mailed proposals or letters of support will not be accepted as an original application.

Applicants will be notified no later than November 26th, 2014 as to whether or not their proposals have been selected for funding.

Submit original and one electronic copy of the proposal to:

Attention:
Nancy Murray, Environmental Analyst III
Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
BNR Inland Fisheries Division
79 Elm Street
Hartford, CT, 06106-5127

For further information please contact:
Nancy Murray, Environmental Analyst III at 860-424-3589 or email us at: nancy.murray@ct.gov

Program purpose
The introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species in Connecticut poses a serious threat to the biodiversity of native aquatic ecosystems, and can affect the ecological, recreational and economic interests of the state. Nonindigenous aquatic invasive species 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 2014, the Connecticut General Assembly provided funds to DEEP for Grants to Municipalities to 1) conduct diagnostic feasibility studies associated with the abatement of aquatic invasive species populations in inland water bodies, and 2) conduct projects to restore inland water bodies through the control and management of aquatic invasive species. DEEP currently has a total of up to $150,000 to provide to Connecticut municipalities in FY 2015 to fund eligible diagnostic feasibility studies and projects to control or manage aquatic invasive species.

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 water body is located can apply for funding. If the water body is located in more than one municipality, two or more municipalities may apply jointly, and a lake authority as established under sec. 7-151a of the Connecticut general Statutes may, when authorized by the legislative bodies of its respective towns, act as the agent for the member towns for the purposes of this grant program. The study or project must be conducted on an inland water body located in Connecticut.

What types of projects are eligible for funding
Eligible project proposals should be for 1) conducting an aquatic invasive species diagnostic feasibility study associated with the abatement of a population of an aquatic invasive species in an inland water body of this state; or 2) conducting a project to restore an inland water body of the state through the control and management of a population of aquatic invasive species. The target species must have existed in the project water body as of July 1, 2014. In order to obtain the most benefit to the state, factors that will be considered include public access, the size of the water body, and the age and extent of the infestation. Eligible target species will be those aquatic plant species listed in Section 22a-381d of the Connecticut General Statutes (see attachment E) and those aquatic invertebrates listed in Section 26-55-5(a) of the Regulations of Connecticut state Agencies (see Attachment E). Proposals targeting native species, or for invasive species not present prior to July 1, 2014, in the study or project water body are not eligible for funding.

Below are a few examples of eligible, eligible but not high priority, and ineligible projects (reasoning in parenthesis following each example):

   Eligible projects

  • Herbicide treatment to eradicate Egeria (Egeria densa) infestation in a lake with a state boat launch. (invasive species, full public access, limited populations in the CT)
  • Eradication of yellow floating heart (Nymphoides peltata) by dredging and hand pulling from a town-owned pond open to the public. (invasive species, publicly accessible, newer infestation, recently arrived with limited populations in the state)
  Eligible, but lower priority projects
  • Annual use of a mechanical harvester to clear crew team boat lanes of Eurasian water milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) in a lake with limited public access. (little to no general public benefit).
  • Diagnostic feasibility study for zebra mussels in East Twin Lake (eligible species, but study is of limited benefit, no viable control options currently exist and the population has existed in the water body for over 15 years with limited impact to the system and no apparent impact on use).

    Ineligible projects

  • Herbicide treatment of unusually dense growths of common bladderwort (Utricularia vulgaris) on a lake with a state boat launch. (native species).
  • Boat inspection and cleaning station to prevent the introduction of zebra mussels into Mudge Pond. (although an eligible species, no population of zebra mussels currently, as of July 1, 2014, exist in the water body).

Award process
Proposals will first be reviewed for completeness and eligibility, and then rated by a team of reviewers (representing DEEP, UCONN). Only complete applications will be reviewed further for eligibility, and only projects determined to be eligible will be rated.

Subsequently, applicants will receive written notification from DEEP of the decision on their application. Decisions may include suggested and/or mandatory modifications of the study or project, and funding of the study or project in an amount that differs from the proposal.

Following approval of the study or 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.

Funding guidelines
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 diagnostic studies and aquatic invasive species control & management 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 50% of costs (the State will provide up to 50% of the cost) for a diagnostic feasibility study or for a project to restore a water body through control and management of an aquatic invasive species.

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 DEEP. 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 eligible Aquatic Invasive Species  (PDF)
Attachment F, RFP conditions  (PDF)
Attachment G, Sample contract  (PDF)
Full RFP (Announcement and Attachments A through G in one document) (PDF)