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Invasive Species Rapid Response and Control Grant Program

Chemical control of invasive species using herbicide
Chemical control of invasive species with herbicides is one of three
eligible project types under this grant program. Photo by USFWS.

The Invasive Species Rapid Response and Control Grant Program shows DEC's commitment to implementing the agency's program policy entitled Rapid Response for Invasive Species: Framework for Response (PDF, 550 KB). The goal of this policy is to promote timely decision-making and communication in the event of a new invasive species infestation. This policy ensures that managers give adequate attention to all of the necessary components of an effective response including: coordination, communication, public outreach, planning, scientific analysis, information management, and compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, resources, and logistics.

The most successful applications for the first round of the Invasive Species Rapid Response and Control grants emphasized early detection, rapid response, and monitoring, as well as providing measures to ensure the long-term success of the project. Applicants also had to clearly demonstrate that they had a strong knowledge of the biology and life cycle of the species being treated and the experience and track record to successfully complete the project. Priority was given to projects that provide opportunities for public participation and are located on or in close proximity to lands or waterbodies that offer public access.

DEC awarded approximately $1.7 million from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) to 35 projects. Additional information about the Rapid Response and Control Grant Program can be found below in the following sections:


2017 Grant Recipients
Grantee Project Grant Amount
Bard College Invasive Species Rapid Control Project $56,920
City of Tonawanda Emerald Ash Borer Treatment Project $18,000
City of Troy Rapid Response and Control of Emerald Ash Borer in Street Trees $100,000
Clarkson University Norwood Lake Invasive Watermilfoil Eradication Project $58,554
Colby Foundation Eurasian Watermilfoil Eradication on Lake Colby $50,000
Columbia Land Conservancy, Inc. Water Chestnut Control at Meizinger Lake and Hand Hollow $68,500
Cornell University Invasive Species Rapid Response and Control $68,723
Cradle Beach Camp, Inc. Emerald Ash Borer Elimination Project $82,282
Groundwork Hudson Valley Eradicating Invasive Species through Community Leadership in the Urban Environment $89,872
Group for the East End, Inc. Great Pond Invasive Species Removal and Restoration $91,850
Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District Adirondack Invasive Species Management Project $45,000
Historic Hudson Valley Philipsburg Manor Japanese Knotweed $100,000
Iona College Mapping, Studying, and Controlling Incised Fumewort along the Bronx River $39,916.28
Jamestown Audubon Society, Inc. Audubon Community Nature Project to Eradicate Water Chestnut and Phragmites $24,921.30
Mianus River Gorge, Inc. Rescuing the Old-Growth Forest in Mianus River Gorge $38,610.68
National Audubon Society, Inc. Phragmites Management at Ramshorn-Livingston Audubon Sanctuary $13,640.31
New York City Department of Parks & Recreation Rapid Response to Mile-A-Minute Invasion in Queens County $67,746.42
New York New Jersey Trail Conference A Lower Hudson Valley Rapid Response and Control Crew $24,482.50
Orange County Department of Public Works Beaver Dam Lake Aquatic Infestation Control Project $100,000
Otisco Lake Preservation Association 2017 Aquatic Invasive Species Rapid Response and Control Plan $94,259
Research Foundation for SUNY Brockport Slender False Brome Control in Byron-Bergen Swamp $81,764
Saranac Lake Rotary Foundation Inc. Aquatic Invasive Species Eradication on Lake Kiwassa $21,000
The Caumsett Foundation, Inc. Common Reed (Phragmites australis) Control Project $49,260
Thousand Islands Land Trust, Inc. Carleton Island Pale Swallow-wort Management Project $34,865
Tioga County Soil & Water Conservation District Developing a Sustainable Invasive Species Rapid Response Network for Central NY $42,933.95
Tioga County Soil & Water Conservation District Controlling Hydrilla Verticillata in the Upper Susquehanna Basin of NYS $11,400
Town of Brookhaven Eradication of Perennial Pepperweed and Japanese Knotweed at West Meadow Beach $60,000
Town of Cazenovia Eradication of European Frog-bit in Cazenovia Lake $48,102.50
Town of Chesterfield Butternut Pond Eurasian Watermilfoil Control Project $11,000
Town of Malta Saratoga Lake Water Chestnut Eradication Project $20,000
Town/Village of Scarsdale South Fox Meadow Brook Knotweed Remediation Project $24,500
Town of Somers Invasive Species Rapid Response and Control $15,000
Upper Saranac Foundation Fish Creek Aquatic Invasive Species Management Project $100,000
Westchester County Parks Department Invasive Species Eradication $10,467.30
Yates County Mechanical Harvesting of Starry Stonewort Infestation in Keuka Lake Outlet $35,800

Program Overview and Specifics

Application Deadline

All applications were due in the NYS Grants Gateway by 2:00pm on March 24, 2017.

Request for Applications

Request for Applications (RFA) (PDF, 860 KB) -- 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 $11,000. Maximum grant amount is $100,000.

50% 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 three-year contract term.

Applicant Eligibility

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

Project Location

Eligible projects must be located completely within the political boundaries of New York State.

Eligible Project Types

1. Physical & Mechanical Removal - Hand pulling, drawdown, and mechanical harvesting

Terrestrial mowing and aquatic harvesting techniques, if done repeatedly and with proper timing and equipment, can be an effective method in controlling invasive vegetation. The unique phenology and physiology of the target species need to be carefully considered to ensure success. Some projects may be covered under the NYSDEC General Permit for Management of Invasive Species (PDF, 100 KB) (GP-0-15-005) if implementing one of the permit's authorized activities.

2. Chemical Treatment - Herbicides and shading

There are many chemical products (pesticides, herbicides, insecticides) registered by the EPA and New York for use in controlling invasive species. Strict adherence to label requirements and dosage thresholds is required for any proposed project. Impacts to non-target species must be considered. Treatment using chemical products may only be performed by a certified pesticide applicator. All aquatic treatments will require an Article 15 Aquatic Pesticide permit from the regional NYSDEC office, as well as a completed Notice of Intent to obtain coverage under the SPDES Pesticide General Permit. Other permits may also be required, such as Article 24 Freshwater Wetlands permits for applications within regulated wetland areas.

3. Biocontrol Release - Grass carp and herbivorous insects

The use of sterile grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) to consume and control invasive submerged vegetation is an effective method if the site allows (i.e. barriers exist to prevent fish from escaping the target waterbody, etc). Proper ratios of fish to acre of water to plant density should be implemented and the presence of rare, threatened, or endangered aquatic plants must be considered. A triploid grass carp Stocking Permit from the NYSDEC is required.

A sterm-boring weevil, Rhinocomimus latipes, has demonstrated success as a biocontrol option for Mile-A-Minute (Persicaria perfoliata) in New York, following a thorough environmental assessment by USDA APHIS. A license from NYSDEC will be required to liberate these insects as well as other biocontrol for such invasive species as the hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelgis tsugae) and knapweed.