2014 Watercraft Access Inspections by DNR Staff - Description of Grant Offer

This grant program is closed for 2014

Program Purpose

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Invasive Species Program is offering grants for watercraft inspections by DNR staff in 2014. These grants are intended to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, especially zebra mussels, into Minnesota waters. This grant program is designed to assist local organizations that would like additional watercraft inspections (beyond what is done by the DNR Watercraft Inspection Program) at particular water accesses. This is an offer to split the cost ($16/hour) of additional watercraft inspections with cooperators. The cooperating organization can provide input into scheduling the hours of inspection. The DNR will recruit, hire, and schedule the inspectors, and provide supervision, insurance, and social security costs.

Eligible Applicants

  • Lake associations
  • Tribes
  • 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.

Description of Grant Offer and Funding Levels

If you would like to have DNR Watercraft Inspectors working additional hours at particular water accesses, you must apply through this program. All potential projects will be ranked based on the grant criteria listed in the section below. Highly ranked projects will be offered a grant, by which the DNR will pay for 50% of the cost of granted watercraft inspection hours. Applicants may be awarded all or some of their requested hours. The DNR will provide a maximum of 500 inspection hours per lake up to a maximum total grant of 1,000 hours (two full - time watercraft inspectors). Clarification: A lake is considered unique if it has its own inventory number, which can be found on lakefinder. If one access serves several lakes in a chain, each lake can be counted towards the 1,000 hour limit if they are clearly noted in the application. We will only accept one application per applicant.

The cost of access inspections is $16 per hour. Approximately 10,000 inspection hours will be allotted under this grant program. Cooperators will be billed for their share of the cost of inspections at the end of the open water season for inspection hours that have been completed. The number of inspection hours offered to cooperators will depend on available funds and how closely the proposed project meets the grant criteria listed below.

Grant Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated by DNR staff within the Invasive Species Program. Proposed projects must focus on the prevention of the spread of aquatic invasive species. Proposed water bodies/ water accesses will be ranked according to the following criteria.

A water body/water access will be ranked higher if it is:

  1. A water body known to be a popular destination for boaters leaving zebra mussel infested waters; based on DNR information from past watercraft inspector surveys of boaters throughout the state.
  2. A high-use water access, based on the number of parking spaces and past watercraft inspector observations. Proposed accesses will be ranked based on their average rate of use. Individual water accesses with low use will be dropped from your grant proposal.
  3. A water body located in a high-use or popular traveler destination area.
  4. A water access near or on an infested water.

The final amount of DNR match and the number of inspection hours offered to cooperators will depend upon:

  • The number of inspection hours requested by the applicant;
  • The total number of inspection hours requested by all applicants;
  • How well the proposal meets the grant criteria;
  • The past history of the grantee on previous prevention grants; and
  • The relative ranking of the proposal compared to other proposals.

After the close of the watercraft inspection season, cooperators will receive a final report of all watercraft inspections conducted during the project period and a bill for their share of the cost of those inspections.

Further information

Questions about the DNR's Watercraft Inspection Program:

Heidi Wolf
Watercraft Inspection Coordinator

Questions regarding the grant process:

Wendy Crowell
Ecological Resources Grants Coordinator