Vermont offers grants to fight aquatic invasives

Vermont is again offering grants to communities in their quest to slow the spread of overly aggressive aquatic plants.

The Department of Environmental Conservation encourages municipalities to complete online applications by Feb. 11 for funds, training and technical assistance.

Invasive aquatic species are increasingly a nuisance to swimmers, boaters, anglers — and a threat to native plants and animals that have co-evolved in local waters for millennia.

"Harvests" of non-natives like Eurasian watermilfoil are among the campaigns organized with the help of past years' grants.

Another is the popular "greeter" program at docks that help boaters recognize and remedy weeds' hitchhiking passage from lake to lake.

Top priority for funding in 2015 will be given to projects that manage new infestations.

Projects that aim to prevent further spread of an established infestation; and those that involve ongoing maintenance of control efforts — will be granted second and third priority, respectively.

Up to 75 percent of a project's costs may be covered by the grant, according to the DEC.

The recipients' share may be met through in-kind labor or services.

A portion of motorboat registration fees, together with some federal funds, is used to fund the projects.

For more information, visit the DEC water quality grant page at, or contact department environmental scientist Ann Bove at or (802) 490-6120.