‘Clean, Drain, Dispose’ to prevent invasive species spread July 4 and year-round
With more people recreating, the Independence Day holiday is an especially important time to take a moment to “Clean, Drain, Dispose.” This Fourth of July and all season, join the 96 percent of Minnesotans who
–Clean their watercraft of aquatic plants and prohibited invasive species,
–Drain all water by removing drain plugs and keeping them out during transport, and
–Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.
“Clean, Drain, Dispose is the law in Minnesota, because it’s an effective way of preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species,” said Heidi Wolf, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invasive species coordinator. “These simple steps help protect your waters from invasive species and the environmental, recreational and economic harm they can cause.”
Regulations and outreach focused on AIS prevention in Minnesota are effective. Compliance with AIS laws in Minnesota has increased to 96 percent, based on more than 417,000 watercraft inspections in 2016. The DNR provides training to watercraft inspectors employed by local governments and tribes. Last year, the DNR trained a record 857 non-DNR inspectors across the state.
Zebra mussels have been confirmed in less than 2 percent of Minnesota’s lakes. The DNR has confirmed starry stonewort, a nonnative macro-algae, in eight Minnesota lakes. The DNR worked with lake associations and other stakeholders to aggressively treat starry stonewort in several lakes.
More information, including a 30-second public service announcement about preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species, is available at www.mndnr.gov/AIS.