Since many Minnesotans will probably be spending time at one of our state’s many lakes this weekend and over the Fourth of July, I wanted to take the opportunity to talk about aquatic invasive species.
Aquatic Invasive Species
Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are an ongoing problem in Minnesota waters and a significant threat to their long-term health. They damage our tourism and fishing economies; impact water quality; compete with native plants, wildlife, and ecosystems; and interfere with lake use.
I worked hard on combatting the spread of AIS this session. I introduced legislation that provides grants to the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC), a national leader in AIS research. MAISRC, which is part of the University of Minnesota, will use this funding to continue studying the invasive animals, plants, and diseases that have been discovered in Minnesota and to develop research-based solutions to reduce the impact of AIS. My bill was signed into law as part of the environment and natural resources budget.
The environment and natural resources budget also increases AIS monitoring and education at boat launches and provides grants to communities for prevention efforts. A slight increase to the cost of three-year watercraft licenses provides funding that will help ensure that Minnesotans can continue swimming, fishing, and boating for years to come.
The actions of individual Minnesotans are crucial to stopping the spread of AIS. Here’s a few things to keep in mind this summer:
If you’d like to learn more about what you can do to fight AIS and Minnesota’s AIS laws, the DNR is an excellent resource. Their guide to AIS practices and laws is available here.
Invasive carp like this one could become established in Minnesota. DNR officials recently announced that silver carp had been caught in the St. Croix River. If you capture invasive carp, you must report it to the DNR immediately. Please take a photo of the fish and call 651-587-2781 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements to transport the fish.
New Laws Taking Effect July 1
The AIS legislation is one of the many new laws that will go into effect on Monday, June 1. A list with more detail on each of the laws is available here. Here are some of the highlights:
West St. Paul Pride in the Park
Please join me to celebrate Pride in West St. Paul! Community members are welcome to attend a family-friendly Pride in the Park event this Sunday. There will be picnic food and activities for people of all ages. If you’d like to attend, please RSVP on Facebook so organizers can plan accordingly. I hope to see you there.
When: Sunday, June 30 from 12:30 – 4:30pm
Where: Southview Park, 275 Westview Drive, West St. Paul, MN 55118
I encourage you to check out the Minnesota Secretary of State’s guide to flag etiquette before the Fourth of July holiday. The guide, which is available here, explains the proper way to handle and display the United State flag. It also includes information on flag laws in Minnesota and the history of the flag.
I hope you have a cool weekend and a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July.