State grants aim to combat aquatic invasive species

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Posted at 5:11 PM, Dec 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-12 10:21:48-05

Aquatic Invasive Species Grants through the DNRC are now available. These grants can help combat and raise awareness against invasive species in the state.

“Really what we're trying to do at the state level is involve partners at the local level as much as we can to help get the information out in their local communities,” says AIS Bureau Chief of Montana FWP, Tom Woolf.

With the threat of aquatic invasive species such as the zebra or quagga mussels invading our streams and lakes, the state makes a certain amount of money available for grants. These grants, which can be for up to $50,000 each, can be used by various non-governmental, Montana-based entities.

These organizations in turn use this money towards prevention, early detection, education and outreach, research, and treatment.

Woolf says that some of these invasive species find refuge in the Great Lakes and are then transported over from there. And that in order to stop infestation, it’s vital to Clean, Drain, and Dry watercraft before moving them to a new body of water.

In addition to impacting native wildlife, invasive species can even damage our economy and infrastructure.

“So, aquatic invasive species can cause significant damage to our environment, to our economy. When we talk about things like zebra mussels, they stick to dams, they plug up water flows. Irrigation, they plug up irrigation systems,” says Woolf.

Grant applications are due Thursday, January 19 of 2023.