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Michigan awards $3.6 million for invasive species project

Michigan awards $3.6 million for invasive species project
December 24, 2019 Ric Mixter
Purple loosestrife. Invasive plant. Photo by NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory Follow

The fight against Michigan’s invasive plants and animals received millions of dollars in funding through the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program.

Over $3 million will be spent on both aquatic and land species including surveying and controlling populations of a water plant called European Frog-bit.  This weed has floating leaves that resemble small water lilies which threaten natural plants in the same habitat.  The grant will cover areas in the upper portions of the Rouge, Huron and Clinton river watersheds.

Recent discoveries of a new invasive crustacean has prompted an investigation into Red Swamp Crayfish population dynamics as well, as scientists work to improve control methods.

Another key component of the grant is to survey anglers and boaters who are thought to be unwillingly helping to spread invasive species.  The questionnaire will determine their willingness to decontaminate gear and vessels.  New mobile boat washing stations have been established in northwest Michigan as part of a “Clean, Drain, Dry” law.

The grant monies are proposing treating 15 thousand acres of land and water and treat at least 1,600 acres to eliminate invasive species.  In six years of program funding over 22 million dollars have been spent to survey over 390 thousand acres in Michigan.  More than 31 thousand of those acres have been treated for invasive plants.

Michigan’s Invasive Species Program is cooperatively implemented by the Michigan departments of Agriculture & Rural Development; Environment, Great Lakes and Energy; and Natural Resources.

 

Featured Image: European Frog-bit, Illustration by Michigan Department of Natural Resources

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