Section 37C. A municipality, or group of municipalities, or an agency of the state, which desires state assistance to control aquatic nuisances may apply in writing to the department in a manner prescribed by the department. When the department finds that a proposed aquatic nuisance control program is suitable to control or minimize the effect an aquatic nuisance has on water quality and water use, it may grant an award of up to fifty percent or less of the project costs as determined by the department. Recurring maintenance projects may be awarded grants of twenty percent or less of the annual project cost. In approving requests and determining the amount of any grant, the department shall consider the following: (a) the use of the waters by persons outside the municipality in which the waters are located; (b) the long range effect of the control project; (c) the recreational use of the waters; and (d) the effectiveness of municipal shoreland zoning and other controls in minimizing or preventing existing or new development from having any adverse effects on the waters subject to the control program.