I. Program Description Quagga and Zebra Mussels are aquatic invasive species that are rapidly expanding their range in the Western United States. Popular recreational reservoirs on or connected to the lower Colorado River are one major source of invasive mussels, which are easily transported via trailered watercraft to areas that have not yet been invaded. This Request For Proposals (RFP) will fund proposals in the listed principal areas towards the fulfillment of the top priorities in the Quagga/Zebra Mussel Action Plan for Western U.S. Waters (QZAP) and will be limited to states within the boundaries of the Western Regional Panel within the United States, not including Canada and Mexico (see map at https://westernregionalpanel.org/about-us/): Limiting the spread of invasive mussels through containment, especially by inspection and decontamination of watercraft moving from invaded water bodies to jurisdictions currently free of dreissenid mussels, and the coordination between states or other jurisdictions to this end; Protecting western ecosystems through support and/or establishment of prevention programs for invasive mussels at identified high risk control points. Limiting the spread of invasive mussels through containment by increasing compliance with federal, state, local and tribal laws; Increasing the effectiveness of outreach and education efforts to help advance prevention efforts; Building capacity to detect and respond to new invasive mussel infestations; Conducting Research that benefits the priorities listed above, including (but not limited to) social science research to evaluate the effectiveness of invasive species prevention messaging, and research on non-target species impacts of invasive mussel control treatments. Efforts to address the risks and impacts of these invasive species are on-going. They include development of QZAP, and funding by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Service) to address waters at highest risk for spreading invasive mussels. In fiscal year 2020 the Service plans to allocate approximately $1,830,000 to projects that will reduce or minimize the threat of quagga and zebra mussels to Western U.S. waters. Funding is available for a limited number of projects that target containment of quagga or zebra mussels in areas already infested, e.g., the lower Colorado River and connected waters, by minimizing the potential for trailered boats to carry invasive mussels to other waters, through actions that meet the principle areas identified above. Priorities The Department of Interior has identified Financial Assistance Priorities with specific focus areas. The priorities and focus areas addressed through this Funding Opportunity are described in detail below. When developing proposals, be sure to address how the project fulfills priority focus areas. Priority 1 - Creating a conservation stewardship legacy second only to Teddy Roosevelt Focus area: Utilize science to identify best practices to manage land and water resources and adapt to changes in the environment. Focus area: Shift balance towards providing greater public access to public lands over restrictions to access. By providing financial support to partners to implement QZAP priorities the Service is supporting the containment, prevention and control of invasive mussels, thus protecting our nation’s natural resources including the original 230 million acres of public lands established during Teddy Roosevelt’s presidency. The financial support provided to implement science-based projects facilitate continued use of our aquatic resources through watercraft inspection and decontamination actions thus preventing the spread of AIS. This prevents States and other entities from denying access to water bodies due to AIS issues thus shifting the balance towards allowing greater public use of our aquatic natural resources. Priority 4 - Ensuring sovereignty means something Focus area: Solidify mutual interests between the U.S. and the freely associated States and territories Introduced via a number of pathways and vectors, Quagga and Zebra mussels do not respect jurisdictional boundaries and can move within and between water bodies, impeding Federal, State and local conservation goals. By providing States, Tribes, and other entities with financial support to implement their Quagga and Zebra containment and control the Service helps advance our mutual interest in preventing the introduction and spread of AIS thus improving the chance to attain conservation goals at the local, State and Federal level. Priority 7 – Striking a Regulatory Balance Focus Area: Reduce the administrative and regulatory burden imposed on U.S. industry and the public. It is estimated that over fifty percent of the species listed under the Endangered Species Act were listed, in part, because of the effects of invasive species. By working with the partners to prevent the introduction and spread of AIS, we are reducing the need for possible Federal regulatory actions through actions under the Endangered Species Act or the need for injurious wildlife listings. Priority 9 - Reorganizing for the next 100 years Focus area: Redistribute organizational resources (people and funding) to enhance mission achievement and improved public service. The Service has provided support for the implementation of the Quagga and Zebra Mussel Action Plan (QZAP) since 2011 and has helped foster the development of containment and control plans. In 2020, the QZAP Grant Program will provide a total of $1,830,000 to approved applicants. This funding continues to aid conservation missions working to prevent the introduction and spread of AIS and move us closer to a nationally-coordinated effort. Each water body that is contained or protected will prove beneficial to public access and species conservation over the next 100 years.
Categories: Natural Resources.
Categories: Natural Resources.