Clean Boats, Clean Waters Grants

Clean Boats, Clean Waters grants supply up to $3,000 to organizations communicating aquatic invasive species prevention information through outreach materials and in-person educational events to boaters. This funding opportunity is competitive, and applications will be subject to a review process and ranked based on program eligibility, project significance, and overall strategy. Examples of previous grant funded projects can be found at the bottom of this webpage.

Applicants are highly encouraged to partner with other conservation organizations and to conduct boater outreach on a regional scale. Organizations qualified for the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program (MISGP) (e.g., CISMAs) should pursue MISGP funds to perform boater outreach activities. CISMAs can provide support to organizations in their area that are applying for this funding.

CBCW is a joint effort between Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). Funding for CBCW and this grant opportunity is provided by a short-term grant through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in partnership with EGLE. We are unaware at this time if we will have grant funds to distribute beyond 2023. Sign up here to be notified if CBCW grants will be available in 2024. 

2023 Grant Opportunity

The grant application period is now closed. Applications were accepted until January 20, 2023 and applicants will be informed by March 2023 of funding decisions.

Examples of eligible projects

  • Interpretive signage at a county or township park, nature center or boat launch about proper cleaning techniques to prevent AIS.
  • Clean Boats, Clean Waters boat decontamination station with plant removal tools, sponges, and signage.
  • Educational booth during weekends at a popular boat launch or community event.
  • Educational presentations to anglers taking part in a fishing tournament.

Eligible expenditures

  • Producing existing state approved AIS outreach materials (e.g., printed materials (brochures, rack cards), banners, flags, floating key chains and towels) and/or designing and producing new materials with approved messaging consistent with outreach campaigns in use in Michigan.
  • AIS removal supplies such as plant removal tools, sponges, wrenches for removing drain plugs, towels, and plastic scrapers.
  • Event supplies including tables, chairs, and tents.
  • Clean Boats, Clean Waters volunteer recognition apparel items (i.e., lanyards, shirts, aprons, hats).
  • Staff time to perform watercraft inspections, demonstration of boat cleaning techniques and/or outreach to boaters.
  • Outreach activities can take place at various locations including but not limited to bait and tackle shops, county fairs, public and private boat launches and waterbodies that do and do not have public access.

Ineligible expenditures include but are not limited to the partial purchase, upkeep and/or the maintenance of a mechanical boat washing station (i.e., boat cleaning systems using high pressured water, waterless decontamination systems) and indirect costs and fringe for staffing.

NOTE: Permission of boat launch owners and/or managers needs to be obtained prior to any project implementation.  For example, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Parks and Recreation Division may require a use permit for any events held at DNR owned/managed boating access sites. 

Eligible organizations

  • Local or tribal units of government
  • Lake associations/watershed protection groups
  • Non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations

Funding amount

  • The grant request amount should range from $1,000 to $3,000 per grantee.
  • There is no match or cost sharing requirement.
  • Funds will be distributed via a one-time reimbursement of eligible expenses.
  • Any budget or project changes after a grant has been awarded must be approved in writing.

Required grant activities
Grantees must complete all of the following activities:

  • Grantee agrees to host a minimum of three outreach events with CBCW approved outreach materials.
  • Grantee and/or volunteers will review required CBCW training materials (approximately 1 hour of educational instruction).
  • Grantee and/or volunteers will collect and report data on the number of people contacted, volunteer hours (if applicable), number of outreach materials distributed, and latitude/longitude of locations (minimum of waterbody name, county, and township) for all events and signage.
  • Grantee will submit one narrative report of all grant funded activities and expenditures to MSU Extension. A template will be provided to assist with narrative report creation.
  • The narrative report must contain a minimum of five photos of products and/or outreach conducted. Narrative report is due October 31, 2023, or at the time of reimbursement request.
  • Grantee will submit all receipts/invoices for reimbursement to MSU Extension. MSU Extension will not issue payment to the grantee until all receipts have been submitted. One-time payment will be issued within 60 days of receiving receipts.

Previously Funded Grant Projects

In 2022 Clean Boats, Clean Waters funded twelve projects totaling $26,000 across Michigan. The awardees included lake associations, paddling groups, Conservation Districts, and other nonprofit organizations. Learn more about our 2022 grant award winners here.

  • East Jordan High School students installed an invasive species sign for their local boat launch on Lake Charlevoix. They also hosted community events with educational presentations and interactive games for youth and the public focused on invasive species.
  • The Ingham County Parks Department installed a CD3 user-operated, waterless cleaning roadside station equipped with a weed removal tool, plug wrench, and interpretive signage at the South Lake Lansing Park. The parks department promoted the cleaning station and invasive species prevention at three events throughout the summer.
  • The Shiawassee River Water Trail Coalition and Friends of the Shiawassee River added invasive species prevention information at launch sites along the Shiawassee River via QR coded stickers. They also hosted educational paddles on the Shiawassee River Water Trail and distributed invasive species information at various events throughout the summer.
  • The Marquette County Resource Management Department installed Clean Boats, Clean Waters Decontamination Station signs at the Big Bay Harbor of Refuge on Lake Superior and at the Perkins Park and Campground boat launch and fishing pier on Lake Independence. They hosted boat cleaning demonstrations throughout the summer and distributed educational materials at their park facilities and campground.   

In 2021 Clean Boats, Clean Waters funded seven projects totaling $19,800 across Michigan. Learn more about our 2021 grant award winners here.

Black Lake Boat Wash Sign
Black Lake Preservation Society member Linda Sandvik alongside two Michigan Department of Natural Resource Conservation Officers.
  • The Michigan United Conservation Clubs shared prevention information via their Michigan Out-of-Doors magazine and membership newsletters. They also incorporated Clean Boats, Clean Waters prevention messaging into their “On the Water” volunteer watershed habitat improvement project workdays.
  • The Missaukee Conservation District partnered with the North Country Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area and the Missaukee Lake Association to host outreach events on regional lakes. They also distributed educational materials to local businesses and popular tourist destinations.
  • The Charter Township of Oxford installed a user-operated, waterless cleaning station that is equipped with a weed removal tool, plug wrench, boot brush, and interpretive signage at the Stony Lake Township Park in Oakland County. They promoted the cleaning station and invasive species prevention activities via media outlets and at three outreach events hosted at township parks.
  • The Black Lake Preservation Society installed Clean Boats, Clean Waters boat and trailer decontamination stations with hand removal tools at three public boat access sites on Black Lake in Presque Isle County. They hosted events at each access site to demonstrate how to use the equipment.


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Kelsey Bockelman

Kelsey Bockelman

Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Educator