Crow Wing County Lakes and Rivers Alliance

LARA will work to preserve and enhance the quality of Crow Wing County's lakes, rivers, wetlands and groundwater.

Aquatic Invasive Species Pilot Project: Open Requests for Proposals Process

The Initiative Foundation announces an open process (no deadlines) for requests for proposals for projects that implement or expand innovative and comprehensive pilot projects to prevent the introduction or spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) into the surface waters of Minnesota. A total of $3.6 million will be awarded for pilot projects and an assessment of their effectiveness.

AIS threaten the current and future stability of angling and recreation on Minnesota waters and the economic stability of Minnesota communities, resorts and businesses that depend on revenue from tourism related activities. Local units of government, lakeshore owners, resorts, chambers of commerce and tourism bureaus, angling and sporting groups, water-related businesses and interested citizens are encouraged to form partnerships to craft innovative projects to test new ideas and approaches to stop the spread of AIS.

The Initiative Foundation’s grant program was approved by the Minnesota Legislature from the Outdoor Heritage Fund, one of four funds of the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment passed in 2008. It is intended to fund pilot projects anywhere in Minnesota that are legal, effective and financially sustainable methods of preventing the spread of AIS through a range of communication, education and outreach efforts; inspection and decontamination; enforcement; containment and/or other methods than can be administered locally.

The application process for pilot projects is open with no deadline. The first step in the process is the submission of an online letter of inquiry. Initial review will occur within a few weeks of submission and funding approved as applications are received and fully reviewed. Eligibility applies statewide for local units of government, including joint powers organizations; tribal governments; and registered 501(c) 3 organizations. Prior to completing the letter of inquiry, interested applicants are encouraged to contact John Sumption, project manager, at (218) 368-8304 or to discuss project ideas.

Additional information, including types and examples of eligible projects and other program requirements, can be viewed on the Initiative Foundation website.