AIS Prevention Grant Program

Public Awareness Projects

Application Deadline: Monday, February 17, 2015

Program Purpose

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Invasive Species Program offers Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Grants to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS), especially zebra mussels and spiny waterfleas, into Minnesota waters. These grants offer an opportunity for local entities, such as lake associations, COLAs (Coalitions of Lake Associations), tribal organizations, watershed districts, and counties to partner with the DNR and receive state funding for public awareness initiatives.

Grants are provided to help local entities personalize and distribute AIS prevention information such as newspaper ads, radio spots, brochures, flyers, and other educational material produced by the DNR to targeted audiences in their area. These products are designed to dove-tail with other ongoing AIS prevention efforts, for example the Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! campaign, implemented by the DNR, Minnesota Sea Grant, Wildlife Forever, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Description of Grant Offer

Public Awareness Grants are intended to fund the reproduction and distribution of standard DNR, MN Sea Grant, Wildlife Forever, or locally produced materials focused on preventing the spread of AIS. DNR products, available online as PDF files, can be modified to include the name and/or logo of the grantee organization and in some cases local and regional lake information as well.  Descriptions and ordering information for standard materials from MN Sea Grant and Wildlife forever are found through links on the DNR Public Awareness Resources webpage.  Applicants may apply for funding to reprint locally produced materials by submitting a sample of the completed item with their grant application. 

The Grantee must pay all project expenses up front and make all arrangements. Grantees will be reimbursed 50% of the project costs, up to their grant amount. 

The DNR cannot reimburse costs that were incurred before the grant contract is written and signed by all parties.  In addition, a grantee may not receive reimbursement for costs that have already been reimbursed by another external funding source.

Grantees cannot alter the text or layout of standard DNR products except for those areas indicated in the document where customization is permitted.  All grant projects, except billboards, require the grantee to manage the production and/or distribution of the AIS prevention materials.  DNR staff is available to answer specific questions about printing or design specifications.  Contact AIS program staff if you have ideas for marketing materials you would like us to consider developing for this grant program.

Standard AIS products available to download and personalize

The DNR has developed a variety of public awareness materials that organizations can print and distribute to remind local audiences and visitors how to protect your lakes and rivers from AIS. Visit our Public Awareness Resources webpage to view the products currently available. We intend to expand the range of AIS materials as new items are created.

Available Funding

This competitive grant program will distribute approximately $40,000 in 2015. The maximum amount available for any one project is $4,000. Not all proposed projects will receive funding. Applicants may be offered funding for all or part of their proposed project. All potential projects will be ranked based on the grant criteria listed in the section below. 

Eligible Applicants

  • Lake associations
  • Tribal organizations
  • Coalitions of lake associations (COLAs)
  • Local citizen groups
  • Local units of government (e.g., conservation districts, lake improvement districts, watershed districts, and counties).
  • Multi-agency collaboration is allowed but not required.

Grant Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated by DNR staff within the Invasive Species Program. Proposed projects must focus on preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species. Priority will be given to projects that:

  • Focus on areas that are known to be popular destinations for water recreation;
  • Focus on areas near waters infested with zebra mussels, spiny waterfleas, or Eurasian watermilfoil;
  • Focus on areas with waters infested with other invasive species (besides those listed above).

Locally produced materials will also be judged on how closely they match standard DNR messages.

The final grant amount offered to applicants will depend upon:

  • The total requested grant amount from all applications;
  • How well the proposal meets the grant criteria;
  • The past history of the grantee on previous prevention grants;
  • The relative ranking of the proposal with other proposals.

If you are interested in this grant program, read and submit the 2015 Grant Application for Public Awareness Projects by February 17, 2015.


February 17, 2015:  Proposals must be received on or before this day by mail, email, or fax. You may also deliver your application on or before February 17 during normal business hours (8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday). We encourage you to submit your proposal electronically by sending it to

April 6, 2015:  Estimated project start date
Projects cannot begin until the contract is signed by all parties.

November 15, 2015 Latest project end date. Projects may be completed at any time during the project period, but no later than November 15, 2015.

Applications must be submitted on the forms provided. Electronic proposals are encouraged.

Completed applications should be returned to:

Wendy Crowell, Ecological Resources Grants Coordinator
DNR - Ecological and Water Resources, Box 25
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155
Phone: 651-259-5085
Fax: 651-296-1811

You will be notified when your application is received. If you do not receive a notification, please contact Wendy Crowell at 651-259-5085.

The DNR's Regional Invasive Species Specialists can assist you as you develop your proposed project and fill out a grant application.

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Further information

For questions or more information about public awareness proposals and the grant process in general, contact:

Wendy Crowell
Ecological Resources Grants Coordinator