Social media was abuzz in Michigan last summer with a number of articles being shared that contained a variation of the headline, “If you see this bug, kill it,” in reference to the threat of the spotted lanternfly. As terse a message though that may be, protecting the state from any number of invasive species – be it by land, sea, or air – is serious business. It’s why the state recently announced that 35 projects preventing, detecting, eradicating, and controlling invasive species throughout Michigan will share $3.6 million in grants through the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program.
What it is:
This latest round of grants is the ninth in the program’s history, with more than $32 million in grants having been awarded to invasive species-fighting programs since its launch in 2014. According to figures released from Michigan's Invasive Species Program – which is cooperatively implemented by the Michigan departments of Agriculture and Rural Development; Environment, Great Lakes and Energy; and Natural Resources – more than 592,000 acres of land and water have been surveyed for invasive species and more than 51,000 acres have been treated for invasive terrestrial and aquatic plants since the program’s launch.
What they’ll do:
Projects that won funding in this latest round can be found throughout the state, including the survey and treatment of hemlock woolly adelgid in Oceana, Mason, Benzie, and other counties along the Lake Michigan shoreline; coordinating red swamp crayfish surveys across the Clinton and Rouge river watersheds; coordinating Himalayan balsam survey, removal, and outreach across the Upper Peninsula; and more.
Why it’s important:
“Michigan is home to some truly world-class outdoor recreation opportunities," DNR Director Dan Eichinger said when the application window first opened in September 2022. "Unchecked, invasive species pose serious threats to those resources and the outdoor economy. Michigan's Invasive Species Grant Program is a valuable tool that allows us to work with community partners around the state to better fight and contain these land and water pests."
to learn more about Michigan's Invasive Species Program, the winning projects, and future grant opportunities. Michigan’s Invasive Species Watch List is also available online at michigan.gov/invasives/id-report/watchlist
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