Aquatic Invasive Species
Aquatic Invasive Species are nonnative plants, animals, and microorganisms that negatively impact the environment, economic and human health. The spread of AIS negatively affects wildlife by altering landscapes and disrupting the balance in an ecosystem so that the invasive species which often have little predation or natural controls are capable of outcompeting native species and result in a loss of biodiversity. The lack of balance resulting from an infestation of AIS can limit public access to water bodies and even impede recreational use. Our native plants are adapted to the conditions of Minnesota lakes. While efforts are vigilant and diligent nature is adaptive and AIS are often adapted to much harsher conditions than found in our lakes. As seen in many upper Midwestern states AIS are rarely eradicated. Any aquatic plants or animals designated as “prohibited and regulated” by the DNR are illegal to possess or transport due to the high economic and environmental detriment they pose.
The management of AIS requires the community to be empowered and informed. Meeker County understands that people learn differently so we have committed to hosting hands on trainings and free events that are educational by way of speakers, one on one and group discussions, grant clinics and AIS Fest. Utilizing a variety of mediums allows the community to develop a common understanding of the impact of invasive species and their investments and stake in our Lakes. Waterfowl hunters, boaters, lake goers, and shoreline owners all have a vested interest in our waterway’s protection. The AIS Committee is working to facilitate more access to AIS event planning and prevention resources with all stakeholders.
Our meetings are open to the public and dates will be posted in the upcoming event column.
For a copy of meeting minutes or any questions on AIS in Meeker County please contact the AIS Program Coordinator Ariana Richardson by email at email@example.com or phone at 320-693-5293