Michigan Clean Boats, Clean Waters grant applications now open!

$25,600 is available for passionate organizations dedicated to aquatic invasive species education.

Three people standing in front of the Black Lake Boat Wash informational sign.
Black Lake Preservation Society received Clean Boats, Clean Waters grant funding in 2021 and installed several decontamination stations with hand removal tools at boat access sites. Pictured: Black Lake Preservation Society member Linda Sandvik alongside two Michigan Department of Natural Resource Conservation Officers.

Calling all lake associations, watershed groups, non-profits and local and tribal units of government – we have great news! We have grant funding available to support your aquatic invasive species outreach efforts. This funding opportunity is for any organization dedicated to boater education about aquatic invasive species and the protection of Michigan’s waterways.

Up to $25,600 is available for the 2022 grant program. Funding requests can range from $1,000 to $3,000 and do not require local match or cost sharing. Clean Boats, Clean Waters (CBCW) grants can be used for a variety of activities including signage, invasive species removal supplies such as plant removal tools, sponges and towels, and staff time to perform watercraft inspections and demonstrations of boat cleaning techniques. Eligible applicants include lake associations, watershed groups, local or tribal units of government, and non-profits. Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMA’s) are encouraged to support local groups in their area that are applying for CBCW grant funds or pursue Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program (MISGP) funds to perform boater outreach activities.

Interested groups can apply for a grant now on the Clean Boats, Clean Waters website. The deadline to apply is December 17, 2021. This is a competitive funding opportunity and complete applications will be ranked based on eligibility, project significance, and overall strategy. Accepted grantees will be notified in February of their award.

During the inaugural year of Clean Boats, Clean Waters grants in 2021, seven organizations received awards. The awardees included lake associations, watershed groups, local units of government, and nonprofit organizations. Below are some examples of their projects.

  • 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 also hosted educational events at various access sites.

Michigan Clean Boats, Clean Waters Program

Michigan State University Extension is leading the effort to implement the Clean Boats, Clean Waters program in cooperation with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. Since 2006 the Clean Boats, Clean Waters program has been educating Michigan boaters about aquatic invasive species with trained volunteer boat inspectors. The program has grown into a comprehensive aquatic invasive species boater outreach program thanks to funding from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Clean Boats, Clean Waters promotes understanding of boat cleaning practices and regulations through the distribution of educational materials, an online resource library, boat washing demonstrations, grants, and partnerships. The program builds upon existing partnerships with statewide and local organizations including the Michigan Lakes and Streams Association, CISMAs, and lake associations and is actively seeking new opportunities and partners to share the clean, drain, dry message.

More information on Clean Boats, Clean Waters can be found on the MSU Extension website, Facebook (@MichiganCBCW), or Instagram (@michigan_cbcw). Questions about the Clean Boats, Clean Waters program and this grant funding opportunity can be directed to Kelsey Bockelman, bockelm4@msu.edu.

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