2015 Watercraft Inspections Administered by Local Government Units

Description of Grant Offer

Application Deadline: February 17th, 2015

Program Purpose

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Invasive Species Program is offering grant funds to assist Tribal and local government units (LGUs) that are interested in implementing an aquatic invasives species (AIS) prevention program using authorized watercraft inspectors to work at water accesses in their area. The DNR will also provide training to watercraft inspectors that are part of the the LGU's watercraft inspection program. These grants are intended to help prevent and curb the spread of aquatic invasive species, especially zebra mussels into Minnesota waters.  Watercraft inspectors funded with these grants must be employees of the LGU or individuals working for a contractor to the LGU.

Eligible Applicants

Tribal and local units of government (such as, conservation districts, cities, counties, and watershed districts) that have the capacity to assume all legal, financial and administrative responsibilities for a watercraft inspection program. LGUs are responsible for supervision and oversight of watercraft inspectors and for compliance with all provisions of grant and delegation agreements.

Description of Grant Offer and Funding Levels

Approximately $150,000 of grant funding is available for LGUs that are implementing watercraft inspection programs using basic watercraft inspectors (Level 1) and/ or watercraft inspectors who also operate a decontamination unit (Level 2). Grant applicants can apply for a maximum of $4,000 per waterbody included in their application, up to a maximum total grant of $12,000.

A Delegation Agreement between the LGU and the State of MN is needed to give LGU employees the authority to act as a Level 1 or Level 2 inspector. This grant program is only available to LGUs that have a signed Delegation Agreement at the time of submission (See Delegation Agreement documents below).

Basic Watercraft Inspectors (Level 1)

All watercraft inspectors must be trained and pass a test before they are certified as authorized inspectors by the DNR. Once trained and authorized, Level 1 inspectors can inspect water-related equipment and prohibit the launching of equipment in waters of the state if the individual refuses to allow an inspection of their equipment or refuses to comply with AIS laws.  Level 1 inspectors are neither trained nor authorized to perform watercraft decontaminations using hot water high pressure power washer equipment.

Watercraft Inspectors with Decontamination Units (Level 2)

Level 2 inspectors can conduct watercraft inspections and use hot water high pressure power washer decontamination units to remove AIS from water-related equipment.  Level 2 inspectors must pass specific training and testing requirements before being authorized to perform inspection and decontamination procedures using DNR protocols.

This grant program is intended to help defray the cost of hiring Level 1 or Level 2 inspectors and not the cost for the decontamination unit itself. LGUs may be able to purchase decontamination units under the DNR's purchasing contract by becoming a Cooperative Purchasing Venture Member. For more information please go to: http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/jobs/watercraft/coop-purch-decon.pdf

Grantees will be reimbursed for eligible costs associated with hiring Level 1 and / or Level 2 watercraft inspectors, or contracting with an employment agency to provide Level 1 or Level 2 watercraft inspectors, 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.

A full list of grantee requirements is found in "Grantee Requirements and Grant Program FAQ". Please review that document before applying for this grant program.

Grant Ranking Criteria

In order to be considered for a grant the applicant must include a Delegation Agreement signed by the local unit of government that is applying for the grant. Please review "Grantee Requirements and Grant Application for Watercraft Inspections" for more information about this requirement.

All potential projects will be ranked based on the grant criteria listed below.  Highly ranked projects will be offered a grant.  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.  Proposals will be reviewed based on the water bodies included for water access inspection, and whether the applicant can collect survey data using a mobile device.

Priority will be given to proposals with water bodies that:

  1. Are known to be popular destinations for boaters leaving zebra mussel infested waters; based on past watercraft inspector surveys of boaters.
  2. Have at least one high-use water access; based on the number of parking spaces and past watercraft inspector observations. Water bodies that only have low-use water accesses will be dropped from proposals.
  3. Are located in high-use or popular traveler destination areas.
  4. Are near or on infested waters.

In addition, priority will be given to grant applicants whose inspectors are able to collect survey data using the free watercraft inspection survey data app on mobile android or IOS devices.

Applicants may be awarded all or part of their requested grant amount. The final amount of DNR Grants offered to applicants will depend upon:

  • The dollar amount requested by the applicant;
  • The total amount of funds requested by all applicants;
  • 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.
  • The waterbodies included in the application. If a waterbody is dropped from the application because it only has low – use accesses, the total grant amount that application is eligible for may be reduced.

If you are interested in this grant program, please read all of the documents listed below and submit a Grant Application and a signed Delegation Agreement. Applicants must be able to meet all of the requirements described in the Grantee Requirements and the Delegation Agreement.


February 17th, 2015


Deadline to submit proposals. They must be received on or before this day by mail, email, or fax. You may also hand deliver your application on or before Tuesday, February 17th , 2015 during normal business hours (8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday).

Proposals must be submitted on the Grant Application form, and must be accompanied by a signed Delegation Agreement.  Electronic applications are encouraged, which can include a scanned copy of the signed Delegation Agreement. In addition, three original signed copies of the Delegation Agreement should be sent by regular mail. Your application is not considered complete until we have a signed copy of the Delegation Agreement either as a scanned copy or by mail.

Completed applications should be returned by February 17th , 2015 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 (651-259-5085).

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Further information

Questions concerning the watercraft program or the Delegation Agreement please contact your regional Watercraft Inspection Program Supervisor.

Questions regarding the grant process in general:

Wendy Crowell
Ecological Resources Grants Coordinator