EPA announces $1.5 million in new federal funds to tackle invasive species in New York

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $1.5 million to two New York colleges and one state agency to address invasive species in the Great Lakes. These grants are among 31 grants awarded this year through the EPA’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

“Invasive species is a serious problem facing the Great Lakes,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “These EPA grants will help prevent larger costs and damage to the environment in the future and will educate students and boaters about what they can do to reduce this threat to the Great Lakes.”

The grants announced today for New York State organizations are:

Hobart and William Smith Colleges – $516,000

Water Chestnut Control in New York’s Great Lakes Basin

Hobart and William Smith Colleges will remove water chestnut from 43 acres in the Lake Ontario and Lake Erie basins through hand pulling, mechanical harvest and chemical treatment, and will also survey for new infestations. Additionally, the college will engage 100 students and 30 community members in experiential learning activities, including an “adopt-a-shoreline” program and will reach 10,000 community members at a variety of events.

Paul Smith’s College – $500,000

Lake Ontario Headwaters Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention

Paul Smith’s College will protect the integrity of the headwaters of eastern Lake Ontario through coordinated aquatic invasive species prevention activities in the western Adirondack Park. The project will fund outreach to recreational boaters and inspections of boats and trailers at launch sites.

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation – $500,000

Using Boat Stewards to Prevent the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species

The New York State Office of Parks will expand on a successful watercraft inspection stewardship program at boat launches and marinas located on Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, the Niagara River, the St. Lawrence River, Lake Champlain and the Finger Lakes. The stewardship program will also educate thousands of national and international recreational and resource users that visit New York State Parks.

The Great Lakes provide 30 million Americans with drinking water. This year, the EPA is awarding more than $13.9 million in grants for projects to restore and protect the Great Lakes

For more information on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, visit: www.glri.us.

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