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$3 Million in DEC grants to combat invasive species: Four local projects will get funding

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Governor Kathy Hochul has announced the allocation of nearly $3 million in funding from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Invasive Species Grant Program. This initiative aims to tackle both aquatic and terrestrial invasive species threatening New York’s ecosystems. The funding, totaling $2,992,793, underscores the state’s commitment to preserving its waterways, forest lands, and agricultural resources from invasive species.

In the Finger Lakes region, four key projects will benefit from this grant. In Ontario County, the City of Canandaigua will receive $140,685 for aquatic invasive species spread prevention, focusing on boat steward education and voluntary inspection. Cornell University is awarded $83,292 to conduct invasive species research. The Bergen Swamp Preservation Society in Wayne County is set to receive $73,200 for early detection and rapid response control of both terrestrial and aquatic invasive species. In Tompkins County, the Soil and Water Conservation District will utilize $51,718 for a boat decontamination program aimed at preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos highlighted the importance of a comprehensive approach, including research, management, and public education, to effectively mitigate invasive species threats. The proposed 2024-2025 Executive Budget from Governor Hochul’s office includes a provision for $17 million from the State’s Environmental Protection Fund to support projects addressing invasive species statewide. The full list of grant recipients is available on the Governor’s website, reflecting New York’s ongoing efforts to safeguard its natural habitats and agriculture from invasive species.