ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The fight against invasive species continues in New York – especially at a time when the hazardous spotted lanternfly is active in several parts of the state. This week, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced a new round of funding in its programs to help communities around the state combat threats to the native ecosystem.

The DEC has announced $3 million in grants up for grabs in round three of the Invasive Species Grant Program. The program takes aim at threats to both the trees and the water, applicable to aquatic invasives like Eurasian watermilfoil, as well as terrestrial species like hemlock woolly adelgid and emerald ash borer. The funds can be used to combat existing infestations of invasive species, or take preventative steps against those that could come and do harm in the future.

“The Invasive Species Grant Program is a critical part of the state’s commitment to combating the spread of invasive species that can cause significant damage to our farms and agricultural crops, as well as our natural resources, wildlife, and ecosystems,” said State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball. “Now in its third round of funding, the program funds projects that prevent the spread of these pests from all sides. We’re grateful for DEC’s partnership in our shared mission of keeping New York’s environment safe.”

Grant amounts range from $11,000 to a ceiling of $200,000. They’re broken up into six categories, including:

  • Aquatic Invasive Species Watercraft Spread Prevention, Boat Steward Education and Outreach/Voluntary Inspection
  • Aquatic Invasive Species Watercraft Spread Prevention, Stewards and Boat Decontamination Programs
  • Invasive Species Early Detection/Rapid Response and Control
  • Lake Management Planning and Implementation
  • Invasive Species Research
  • Invasive Species Education and Outreach

Applications are open now, and will remain as such until 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 1. Applicants and projects must be entirely located within New York to be eligible, with first priority given to projects involving public lands and waters, as well as those that involve public participation. Applicants can get started by registering with the New York State Grants Gateway System.