Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention Program

boat owner and boat steward talking about how to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species
Boat owner and boat steward discussing how to prevent
the spread of aquatic invasive species. Photo: Jim Clayton

The Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Spread Prevention Program will support projects that foster public education and outreach in water bodies with multiple small-bodied AIS that can easily be spread to uninvaded areas. Other projects eligible for this grant include the installation of decontamination stations and boat steward training programs in high priority areas. In addition, the grant is intended to foster collaboration and coordination among state agencies, municipalities, not-for-profits and educational institutions to minimize the harm invasive species cause to New York's environment, economy, and human health.

DEC awarded nearly $2.1 million from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) to 24 projects. Additional information about the AIS grant program can be found below in the following sections:

Awards

  • Black Lake Association, Inc. - $35,950.00
    The program will place watercraft stewards at both Black Lake and along the St. Lawrence River.
  • Chautauqua Lake Association - $100,000.00
    The program will help prevent the spread of AIS by placing boat stewards on Chautauqua Lake.
  • Cornell Coop. Extension Livingston County - $64,025.00
    The Western Finger Lakes Watercraft Steward Program seeks to place boat stewards on Canadice, Conesus, and Hemlock Lakes.
  • Cornell University - $100,000.00
    This program will promote knowledge of new regulations designed to prevent the introduction of new invasive species by providing state-wide training to watercraft inspection steward program trainers and stewards, and delivering standardized program materials for their use with the boating public.
  • Cortland County Soil & Water Conservation - $99,039.40
    The project will provide a boat steward program in Cortland County and its eleven public boat launches.
  • Hobart & William Smith Colleges - $99,834.00
    Hobart and William Smith Colleges Watercraft Steward program seeks to place boat stewards across lakes within the Oswego River / Finger Lakes region.
  • Hobart & William Smith Colleges - FL AIS Training Blitz - $99,983.00
    The project will deliver information to groups to enable them to start a comprehensive watercraft steward program to prevent the spread and impact of AIS in waterbodies throughout Upstate NY via a training blitz model to locations and communities that have not historically had watercraft stewards.
  • Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc. - $99,914.00
    Clearwater's Watercraft Inspection Steward Program (WISP) will place stewards strategically along the Hudson River.
  • Keuka Lake Association - $100,000.00
    This program will place stewards at the highest activity launches on Keuka Lake & Seneca Lake.
  • Lake George Association, Inc. - $79,512.00
    The project will place boat stewards at strategic locations on Lake George.
  • Long Lake Association - $69,750.00
    The program will prevent the introduction and spread of AIS through the placement of boat stewards on Long Lake, Raquette Lake, Lake Eaton and Forked Lake.
  • Onondaga Environmental Institute, Inc. - $75,996.00
    The program will place boat stewards on Onondaga and Oneida Lakes.
  • Otsego County Conservation Assoc. - Canadarago Lake - $40,347.00
    This project will prevent further introduction of AIS into or out of Canadarago Lake through the purchase of a boat decontamination station.
  • Otsego County Conservation Assoc. - Otsego Lake - $89,636.22
    The program looks to install a boat decontamination station to help protect Otsego Lake.
  • Paul Smith's College of Arts & Sciences - $98,123.00
    The project looks to install a boat decontamination station on Lake Champlain.
  • The Nature Conservancy - $100,000.00
    The Eastern Lake Ontario AIS Boat Steward Project will strategically place stewards at four "high priority" boat launch sites along Eastern Lake Ontario.
  • Town of Arietta - $100,000.00
    The project will provide comprehensive boat steward coverage for Piseco Lake.
  • Town of Caroga - $64,784.00
    The project calls for the installation of a boat decontamination station, which will be strategically placed to intercept boaters leaving Pecks Lake and Great Sacandaga Lake.
  • Town of Horicon - $100,000.00
    The project the will place boat stewards on Schroon Lake and Brant Lake.
  • Town of Lake Pleasant - $93,000.00
    The project will provide boat stewards on launch ramps for Sacandaga Lake, Lake Pleasant and Indian Lake.
  • Town of Lake Pleasant - Piseco Lake Decon Station - $89,250.00
    The project calls for the installation of a boat decontamination station to protect Piseco Lake.
  • Town of Lake Pleasant - Speculator Decon Station - $100,000.00
    The project will help protect Lake Pleasant and Sacandaga Lake from AIS through the installation of a boat decontamination station.
  • Town of North Elba - Lake Placid Decon Station - $100,000.00
    The project calls for the installation of a boat decontamination station on Lake Placid.
  • Town of North Elba-Lake Placid Partnership - $93,000.00
    The project calls for the placement of boat stewards on Lake Placid.

Program Overview and Specifics

Application Deadline

All applications were due in the NYS Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) by 2:00 PM on January 29, 2016.

Request For Applications

Request For Applications (RFA) (PDF, 1 MB) -- The RFA has details on the project objectives, application process, eligible expenditures, evaluation criteria, and contractual requirements for this grant program.

Minimum and Maximum Award Amounts

Minimum grant amount is $25,000. Maximum grant amount is $100,000.

25% Match

Match can include cash, personal services, administrative salaries, contractual services, voluntary labor, supplies, materials and equipment.

Projected Term

All projects must have defined objectives, tasks, and deliverables that can be completed within a 3-year contract term.

Applicant Eligibility

Eligible applicants include municipalities, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporations, and academic institutions. Other groups such as unincorporated lake associations must apply through a municipality or a not-for-profit.

Project Location

Eligible projects for grant funding must be located on or in the vicinity of a waterbody that is wholly or partially within the geographic boundaries of New York State. If the waterbody overlays the border between New York and an adjacent state or Canada, the project site must be in the New York State portion. DEC will make an effort to distribute grant funds based on the strategic importance of proposed projects and local waterbodies' vulnerability based on ecological characteristics, level and type of recreational boating access, and proximity to major travel corridors and waters colonized by small-bodied AIS and/or high priority plant AIS.

Eligible Project Types

  1. Boat Steward Voluntary Boat Inspections and Outreach
    Applicants may apply for projects to deploy watershed stewards to conduct courtesy boat inspections and deliver education and outreach to recreational boaters. Projects that address the following objectives are preferred:
    • Prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species by
      • Strategically placing boat stewards in Focus Areas for Aquatic Invasive Species spread prevention
      • Developing or expanding regional program
      • Deploying boat stewards to waters with high priority small bodied aquatic invasive species to deliver education and outreach and to conduct courtesy boat inspections
      • Delivering boat steward programs through cooperative partnering by one or more municipalities, non-government organizations or academic institutions
  2. Boat Decontamination Stations to augment existing steward programs for education and outreach and voluntary boat inspections.
    Applicants that are currently operating an established voluntary boat inspection and outreach program using stewards may apply for funding to establish boat decontamination stations. Decontamination equipment such as hot water high pressure washers or equipment required for other effective and acceptable treatment methods is eligible for funding. Projects that address the following objectives are preferred:
    • Prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species by:
      • Strategically placing boat stewards operating decontamination stations in Focus Areas for Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention
      • Placing decontamination stations on major road travel corridors in the vicinity of waters with high priority small bodied aquatic invasive species
      • Developing or expanding regional programs
  3. Steward Training Programs
    Applicants may apply to fund steward training programs. Projects that address the following objectives are preferred:
    • Prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species by training stewards and/or individuals that train stewards by:
      • Providing standardized training that is consistent with the New York State Watershed Inspection Steward Program Handbook (leaves DEC website) for stewards statewide

Examples of Small-bodied Aquatic Invasive Species

  • Spiny water flea (Bythotrephes cederstroemi, B. longimanus)
  • Fishhook water flea (Cercopagis pengoi)
  • Zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha)
  • Quagga mussel (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis)
  • Bloody red shrimp (Hemimysis anomala)

Applicants Selected to Receive a Grant

Applicants selected to receive a grant award are required to use the NYS Grants Gateway (leaves DEC website) to execute a Master Contract for Grants (MCG) within 60-90 days from the time of award notification. Failure to submit required MCG documents in a timely manner may cause a grantee to lose their grant award. Applicants that receive an award greater than $10,000 must be prepared to comply with terms and conditions contained in the following MCG documents and attachments:

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. My project is not in one of the "Focus Areas" referred to in the RFA. Am I still eligible to apply?
    As long as a project is wholly located within the geographic boundaries of New York State, it is eligible for funding under this grant opportunity. Projects located within "Focus Areas" are eligible for several additional points (see Section VII of the RFA), but applicants from all over the state are encouraged to apply.
  2. Will applications from regions of the state that already have AIS prevention programs be ranked lower than applications from other areas that may just be starting an AIS prevention program?
    Applicants applying to implement projects in areas where extensive AIS prevention programs are already in existence will NOT be ranked lower than projects originating from areas with less developed programs. In fact, applicants who demonstrate the knowledge and track record of successfully implementing AIS programs are eligible for additional points in the RFA.
  3. If I am already receiving money for an AIS prevention program, does that mean I am ineligible to receive funds under this grant opportunity?
    Entities' participation in other programs does not deem them ineligible for this grant opportunity. However, grant recipients must ensure that they do not seek reimbursements for costs under this grant program that have otherwise been funded by other state or federal sources.
  4. Can DEC grant any exemptions regarding the ineligibility of other State and/or Federal funding sources in regard to the match and reimbursement?
    The RFA specifically states that other State and/or Federal funding sources cannot be reimbursed and cannot be used toward the required match. This is a competitive procurement and DEC cannot permit any exemptions from meeting this requirement.
  5. The RFA states that projects must be completed and invoiced within a 3-year contract term. Does this mean projects must take 3 years?
    Projects do not need to utilize the entire three years. As long as a project can be completed within the 3-year window that begins when grants are awarded, then it is eligible for funding under this grant.
  6. Are travel expenses an eligible expenditure?
    Travel expenses qualify as an eligible expenditure under this grant.
  7. Do all projects implemented on municipal property require a resolution from that municipality supporting the project?
    Yes, boat steward education and outreach, boat decontamination and steward training projects all require a resolution if being conducted on municipal lands.
  8. Is the resolution required at the time of application, or will a letter of support from the municipality suffice until grant awards are announced?
    A letter of support from the municipality will suffice at the time of application.
  9. If a project is awarded funding, what is the frequency for the reimbursement of funds?
    Applicants will be able to request reimbursement on a quarterly basis.
  10. How does the advanced payment process work?
    Only not-for-profit organizations can be eligible for advance payment. Advance payment will be recouped gradually so that advanced funds are not fully drawn down until the recipient's final payment request. The language from Attachment D states: The State agency will make an advance payment to the Contractor, during the initial period, in the amount of 25 percent of the budget. Recoupment of any advance payment(s) shall be recovered by crediting 25% of subsequent claims and such claims will be reduced until the advance is fully recovered within the contract period.
  11. How many applications can a single applicant submit?
    Applicants may submit a maximum of 3 proposals for completely independent projects. Applications may not be for the same project or project location.
  12. When will this RFA be made available again?
    The DEC is uncertain of the next time this specific grant opportunity will be available again and encourages all eligible applicants to apply for this opportunity while it is available.
  13. The RFA and CFA application ask if decontamination stations will be placed "in the vicinity of a waterbody" with high priority AIS. What specific distance classifies as "in the vicinity"?
    Applicants must make the case for why they chose a specific location for the placement of a decontamination station. Decontamination stations should be placed in areas that will realistically reach the highest number of people you are trying to target for the waterbody/waterbodies your proposal is concerned with.
  14. Can I apply for both a steward program and a decontamination program for the same area?
    The RFA language states that applications for decontamination stations are only eligible if that applicant has already implemented and is currently operating a steward education and outreach program/voluntary boat inspection program. Proof of an existing steward education and outreach/voluntary boat inspection program must be submitted at the time of application.
  15. If my project does not meet all of the evaluation criteria within the RFA, am I still eligible to apply?
    DEC encourages all applicants that meet the project pass/fail criteria to apply. Please refer to page 16 of the RFA to review the pass/fail criteria.
  16. If my project is not located at or in close proximity to waters with shoreline that is at least 50% publicly owned, am I still eligible to apply?
    Yes, your project would still be eligible. Projects located at or in close proximity to waters with shoreline that is at least 50% publicly owned are eligible for several additional points (see Section VII of the RFA), but applicants that do not fit this criteria are encouraged to apply.
  17. Would a Soil and Water Conservation District be considered an eligible applicant for this grant opportunity?
    The definition of municipality within the RFA should be understood to include Soil and Water Conservation Districts. Therefore, soil and water conservation districts would be considered an eligible applicant.
  18. How do I apply?
    All applicants must apply online at https://apps.cio.ny.gov/apps/cfa/. Please find a tutorial for the online application under Supporting Documents above.
  19. May I submit a proposal to place boat stewards or a decontamination station on DEC owned boat launches or properties? If so, who in particular should I obtain permission from to utilize the site?
    Applicants may propose the placement of stewards or decontamination stations at DEC owned boat launches or properties. Applicants must comply with the requirements outlined in section II of the RFA, including but not limited to the Permits and Letters of Permission/Municipal Endorsement paragraphs. Requests should be sent to the Natural Resource Supervisor of the region in question.
  20. May I submit a proposal to place boat stewards or a decontamination station on State lands that are not owned by the DEC (i.e. Land owned by NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation)? If so, who in particular should I obtain permission from to utilize the site?
    Yes, applicants must obtain documentation granting permission to use the site from the State Agency in question. Applicants must comply with the requirements outlined in section II of the RFA, including but not limited to the Permits and Letters of Permission/Municipal Endorsement paragraphs. All letters of permission must be included in the Attachment Section of the online CFA application.
  21. Would overhead expenses count as an eligible expenditure or form of match under this grant opportunity?
    According to the Language in the RFA, overhead expenses (utilities, rent, insurance, etc.) are not an eligible expenditure or form of match.
  22. Can a piece of equipment that is owned by DEC be used for a project under this grant opportunity?
    Because of the competitive nature of the grant, all applicants need to be treated equally and given the same opportunity statewide. Therefore, entities may not utilize equipment owned by DEC for the New York Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention Program.
  23. Can DEC staff write a letter of endorsement for a specific project?
    Because of the competitive nature of the grant, DEC staff cannot write or approve a letter of endorsement for a specific project.
  24. Should the details I provide in the "Budget Form" reflect both the grant award and my matching funds?
    Yes, the information provided in the "Budget Form" should reflect the combination of the grant award and your match.
  25. Can you clarify the difference between a partner and a stakeholder?
    The RFA states that partners are those who actively take part in the delivery of a project. If a proposed project involves multiple partners, only one eligible, designated lead applicant can submit the application for grant funding. Stakeholders are those who offer their support or whose support may be necessary for the successful implementation of a project but are not directly involved in the delivery of the project.
  26. How is the match calculated?
    There are two ways to calculate the match. The first way is to calculate the match using the total cost of your project. You would do this by multiplying the anticipated final cost of your project by 25%. For example, a project with a total cost of $100,000 would receive a grant award of $75,000 ($100,000 x 75%=$75,000) and have a $25,000 match requirement ($100,000 x 25%= $25,000).
    The second way to calculate the match is by dividing the amount requested by 75%. This will give you the total cost of your project. To find the match, simply subtract the initial amount that you requested from the total cost of the project. For example, if you wish to receive $100,000 as a grant award, you would divide $100,000 by 75% ($133,333). You would then subtract $100,000 (the amount requested) from $133,333 (the total cost) to find the match ($33,333).
  27. When inputting information into the Personal Services Section of the Expenditure Based Budget (2nd page of Budget Form), the Personal Services Total field does not seem to be updating. How do I correct this?
    When completing the Personal Services Section of the Expenditure Based Budget, please input the fringe benefits last and press "enter" or "tab" on your keyboard. The Personal Services Total should then update and be correct.
  28. Will the DEC consider partially funding an application or are awards "all or nothing"?
    The Department of Environmental Conservation reserves the right to determine an award amount or to award a portion of a grant request.