Report: Millions spent annually fighting aquatic invasive species in Minnesota

A new report, commissioned by The Nature Conservancy, says Minnesota spends nearly $8 million a year fighting aquatic invasive species. Minnesota Public Radio notes the fight is complicated because there is no single method to control all the different types of invasive species.
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A new report, commissioned by The Nature Conservancy, says Minnesota spends nearly $8 million a year fighting aquatic invasive species. Minnesota Public Radio notes the fight is complicated because there is no single method to control all the different types of invasive species.

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Penalties double for invasive species violations

Tougher laws aimed to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, like zebra mussels and spiny waterfleas, go into effect Sunday, July 1 -- doubling fines for Minnesota boaters who are caught violating the rules. The Department of Natural Resources says about 20 percent of boaters are not taking the basic precautions to comply with the laws. The new fines range from $100 to $500 dollars.

List of waterways with invasive species grows

Just in time for Minnesota's warm-weather boating season, state conservation officials Thursday released a list of waterways newly discovered to be infested with invasive species such as Asian carp, zebra mussels and Eurasian milfoil. Added were nearly two dozen lakes and stretches of the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers.

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DNR planning roadside checks in 2012

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is going to start conducting random roadside checks in 2012. Conservation officers will inspect trailers, boats and other vehicles to help stop the spread of zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species. More decontamination units and watercraft inspectors will also be deployed at infested lakes and rivers around the state.

Senate could vote on invasive-species boating proposal this weekend

The bill allows the DNR to setup inspection stations and issue tougher fines to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive-species. Minnesota's 800,000 boaters would also be required to pass a training course. House lawmakers okayed the legislation Friday and Senators could vote on it this weekend.