New cleaning stations help prevent spread of AIS

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Media contact: Angie Timmons, Hennepin County Environment and Energy, 612-845-0323

Media contact: Pat Conzemius, Wildlife Forever, 763-253-0222

Media contact: Edgar Rudberg, CD3, 952-212-6576

New cleaning stations help prevent spread of AIS

Today at the Spring Park public boat access on Lake Minnetonka, Hennepin County unveiled a new solar-powered, user-operated watercraft cleaning station that gives boaters the tools needed to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS).

This station is one in a pilot project of five created in partnership with Wildlife Forever, CD3, Initiative Foundation, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Three Rivers Park District. The other stations are located at North Arm on Lake Minnetonka, Bryant Lake and Riley Lake in Eden Prairie and Pike Lake in Saint Louis County.

Tools and education for boaters

Although boaters are generally aware of AIS, they often lack the tools and specific knowledge to prevent their spread.

“For years, we’ve been raising awareness and engaging anglers to help prevent the spread of AIS. Finally, we have smart tools that empower people to do the right thing,” said Pat Conzemius, Wildlife Forever conservation director.

Boaters can use the CD3 cleaning stations to learn the best management practices of cleaning, draining, drying and disposing of bait (CD3). The stations include compressed air, a wet/dry vacuum, marine lights and a series of low-tech, cable-tethered tools.

“Everyone likes a clean boat, so we’ve developed a product to help keep your boat looking great while preventing the spread of invasive species,” said Ed Rudberg, CD3 CEO.

The cleaning stations will provide boaters with 24/7 education and tools at a cost similar to staffing an access with an inspector for limited hours. The waterless and solar-powered stations are cost-effective to install and maintain, meaning more local governments could soon begin taking advantage of this resource.

A multifaceted approach to preventing AIS 

“Preserving the health and vitality of our lakes and streams is an important part of Hennepin County's environmental mission,” said Hennepin County Commissioner Jan Callison. “The innovative cleaning station being installed in Spring Park is an example of how local governments and agencies have the ability to get creative in educating the public and providing services so that we make lasting impacts.”

Hennepin County receives about $300,000 a year from the State of Minnesota for AIS prevention efforts, including:

  • Early detection efforts, such as training volunteers to identify AIS found in nearby regions
  • Analyzing other pathways of spread through pet stores, garden centers and private accesses
  • Building awareness and providing hands-on education opportunities
  • Enhancing existing inspections and decontamination efforts
  • Funding research and management of AIS

Learn more about these efforts.

About the partners

Wildlife Forever’s Clean Drain Dry Initiative is a leading invasive species prevention campaign. Using consistent best management practices to guide marketing and outreach services, the initiative leverages many unique tools for on-the-ground outreach and education.

CD3, a Minnesota-based company, developed the watercraft cleaning station. The company strives to develop innovative technologies that empower people to reduce the spread of AIS.

Additional project partners include the Initiative Foundation with funding from the Outdoor Heritage Fund, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Three Rivers Park District.

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