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. The invasive species, which often have little predation or natural controls, can outcompete 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 is 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 training and free educational events by way of speakers, one on one and group discussions, grant clinics, and AIS Fest. Utilizing various 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, don't hesitate to get in touch with the AIS Program Coordinator Ariana Richardson by email at ariana.richardson@co.meeker.mn.us or phone at 320-221-0614

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Program Updates:

  • 2022 Grants: The Request for Proposal and Applications for 2022 AIS Projects are now available!
  • Tool Stations have been Installed at 3 Public Water Accesses
  • No new findings at the 2021 Starry Trek!

Upcoming Events

AIS Advisory Committee Meeting
  • October 6th 2pm CST County Board Room and Webex

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