State Allocates Funds for Prevention of Aquatic Invasive Species

Each year the state legislature delegates funds to attack Aquatic Invasive Species.

DULUTH, Minn.- The fight against Aquatic Invasive Species in St. Louis County lakes continues as the County Board has approved the distribution of funds for their prevention and elimination.

Each year the state legislature allocated funding to counties to be used to prevent the introduction and limit the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species, or AIS.

These species disrupt the health of bodies of water, and pose threats to natural, cultural, and recreational resources in the region.

The County Board approved just under $662,000 to be distributed across various townships and lake associations.

“The fact that the state has stepped up and made this a priority statewide is essential,” said Planning and Community Development Director Matthew Johnson.

“This is a local grassroots type effort for people that live near the lakes to interact with the people that are using them and it’s been a hugely successful program.”

Almost $400,000 went to the North St. Louis Water and Conservation District to manage watercraft inspections, decontaminations, and public education on 12 different lakes.

This year their main focus is the decontamination of watercrafts.

“A big focus that North St. Louis County Winter is gonna have this year, is really increasing the number of decontaminations that are happening,” Senior Planner Ryan Logan.

“A statewide trend ha been showing that there’s been a decrease in the use of decontamination stations.”

Key Aquatic Invasive Species of concern in the County include Zebra mussels, the faucet snail, mystery snail and spiny water flea.

Since 2014 the state has funded a total of $3.5 million in AIS Prevention, officials said. The amount of boats in compliance with regulations in the County is about 98%, which is a percent above the state average.

According to officials, there have been no new recent infestations in lakes within the County.

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