Clean Boats, Clean Waters Grants

Clean Boats, Clean Waters grants supply up to $3,000 to organizations communicating aquatic invasive species prevention information through printed 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 here.

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 should support organizations in their area that are applying for this funding.

2022 Grant Opportunity

The grant application will be available on this website November 1 and applications will be accepted until December 17, 2021. Applicants will be informed by February, 2022 of grant award.

Eligible expenditures

  • Producing existing state approved AIS outreach materials (e.g., printed materials (brochures, rack cards), banners, flags, signage, floating key chains and towels) and/or designing and producing new materials with approved messaging consistent with outreach campaigns in use in Michigan. Outreach materials will be reviewed within 30 days of submittal to grant administrators. View the Clean Boats, Clean Waters website for examples of approved materials.
  • 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.

NOTE: 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.

Examples of eligible projects

  • Interpretive signage at a county or township park, nature center or boat launch about proper cleaning techniques to prevent AIS.
  • Boater 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.

Note: Permission of boat launch owners and/or managers needs to be obtained prior to any project implementation.  For example, 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. A maximum of $25,691 total will be distributed in 2022.
  • There is no match or cost sharing requirement.
  • Funds will be distributed via a one-time reimbursement of eligible expenses.

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

  • Grantee and/or volunteers must review CBCW training materials.
  • A minimum of three in-person (or virtual) outreach events must be held with approved CBCW outreach materials and messaging.
  • Grantee and/or volunteers must collect and report data on the number of boaters reached, volunteer hours (if applicable), number of outreach materials distributed, and locations (minimum of waterbody name, county, and township) of outreach materials/events.
  • A year end narrative report of activities and expenditures. Require a minimum of five photos of products and/or outreach conducted. Narrative report is due December 31, 2022.
  • Any budget or project changes after a grant has been awarded must be approved in writing.

CBCW is a joint effort between Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. Funding for CBCW and this mini grant opportunity is provided by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Clean Boats, Clean Waters Grant Application

Note: The grant application will download as a Microsoft Word file. If you have accessibility issues, please contact Kelsey Bockelman at

2021 Grant Projects

In 2021 the program funded seven outreach projects across Michigan to educate boaters about aquatic invasive species prevention. The awardees included lake associations, watershed groups, local units of government, and other nonprofit organizations.

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.

Want to learn about all of our 2021 grant awardees? Check out our news story here.

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