After 16 meetings, the MCWD’s AIS Task Force has completed a draft of the District’s Long Term AIS Management Plan which, once finalized, will become part of the MCWD’s 10-year comprehensive plan. The task force’s members include a variety of stakeholders, including residents, business owners, anglers, park officials and lake associations.
The purpose statement of the plan reads: “The purpose of the AIS Management Plan is to guide the MCWD in the management of aquatic invasive species and, through education and awareness, prevention measures, and applied research, work with state and local partners to protect the District’s water resources from this environmental threat.”
The MCWD Board of Managers will begin its review of the plan in March and, after deciding whether revisions should be made, submit it to the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR). Public comment will follow BWSR’s review as a proper amendment of the District’s Comprehensive Water Resources Management Plan.
note: Lake Minnewashta Preservation Association was represented on the Task Force by Steve Gunther, president of the LMPA
At the January 15th, 2013 Carver County Board of Commissioners meeting, Martin Walsh, Parks, requested the Board approve a delegation agreement with the DNR for AIS inspections. He explained they were beginning to prepare for an inspection program and this year the DNR came up with a delegation agreement to give the counties the authority to have inspection stations. He stated this was a two year agreement and paves the way for the County to apply for grant funding from the DNR. Walsh clarified staff has been discussing inspection options and will be bringing that forth to the Board in the future.
Maluchnik moved, Degler seconded, to approve the delegation agreement with the DNR for aquatic invasive species inspection services and authorize the Chair to sign the agreement. Motion carried unanimously
Initiatives to be funded without increase in tax levy
On Thursday, December 13, 2012, the MCWD Board of Managers approved enhanced Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) prevention and management measures for 2013. The 2013 program will be funded though savings from other District projects instead of a previously-considered property tax increase. This will be the fourth year that the District has not increased its property tax levy.
“The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District remains committed to providing high quality natural resource management and being good environmental and fiscal stewards. After receiving considerable input from residents and other stakeholders and considering the need for quick action, the District is moving forward with a carefully-developed, community-driven plan to further protect lakes and streams in the District from AIS,” said MCWD Board President Jim Calkins.
The MCWD’s enhanced AIS prevention and management plan for 2013 includes
- increased grant funding to local governments for watercraft inspections;
- two roaming inspectors to serve other publicly-accessible lakes that don’t have an ongoing inspector presence;
- grant funding for boat cleaning stations in the District;
- expansion of the District’s zebra mussel monitoring program to all major lakes within the District and creation of a volunteer monitoring program to help spot new infestations;
- enhanced education and outreach efforts.
Another component of this plan is in response to local interest to sustain recreational access to lakes and streams. It’s a self-certification program for boaters who, upon completion of a training course on inspecting and cleaning their boats, would receive a sticker or pass that may expedite them through the inspection process.
The MCWD’s enhanced 2013 AIS prevention and management plan was adopted after receiving public comment and significant input from the District’s AIS Task Force – a coalition of community leaders, including business owners, angler groups, parks officials, and lake associations – and a Technical Advisory Committee that includes the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, county and park district staff, and University of Minnesota staff.
At its meeting last night, the Minnehaha Creek Watershed Board approved the plan that will spend an additional $250,000 for AIS prevention activities in 2013. The Board also approved a motion not to increase the 2013 tax levy by this amount, but rather directed staff to identify where the $250,000 will come from with funds that the District already has. As the Board has approved the 2013 plan, the action it needs to take at its December 13 meeting will be to approve the source of funds for it.
Rick and Judy Berland
Call to order, 7:10
- Reviewed and approved Minutes from last meeting
- Income Statement/Financial Report reviewed and discussed.
- Jim Ginther is our new Treasurer
Lake Stewardship Report
- Our Zebra Mussel road show is slowing down as our interns are done and headed back to school and families. A great job to all who participated. A submission of hours for final payment will be submitted by Scott Lacek.
Coalition of Lakes update
- Currently have a logo designed for letter head as well as approved by-laws, making a entity within the community.
- Sent out letters to let it be known we are a Coalition of 8 local lakes within the Minnehaha Creek watershed district. Letters were sent to Governor Dayton, Senators, representatives, county commissioners and others.
- Have presented to the AIS task force a “pilot” plan for developing a station for decontamination and inspection, a single site to handle access from 5 launches yet to be determined. Have requested and received funding from the MCWD for the pilot project.
- Also consideration for the water runoff project will get discussion in late fall.
Membership communication/neighborhood project
- Discussed by the team leaders of Rick and Judy Berland. The Captains outreach project needs another boost. Interns may help in a door to door campaign, this still will be determined. Looking at total neighborhoods we currently have 19 and only 13 Captains.
- Decision is to set up a meeting for week of Oct 8th to go over status with the captains.
- Communication – the updates are on the website
Fall picnic – Helen Gunther will work on setting up a meeting to determine a place and a date.
- Future Board meetings will be held April thru October on the 3rd Tuesday of the month.
- Should we develop a Logo?
Next meeting Oct. 16th @ 7:00 at the Gunther’s house, 3628 Hickory Road
M/S/A to adjourn
Adjourn 8:30 pm
Members of lake, river and stream groups are invited to learn and share ideas at the Metro Summit for Lake and River Groups on Wednesday, November 7 in Hopkins.
Participants will learn about a variety of issues they can address with their local group. Representatives from three local governments will talk about their efforts in battling aquatic invasive species (AIS). The state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will discuss its renewed effort on addressing outdated shoreline rules. Alex Gehrig of the Freshwater Society will present ideas on how to engage your membership and participants will share stories of success and challenges.
You will also have the chance to network with others in metro-area lake, stream and river groups. The program runs from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and the $10 fee includes dinner. It will be held at the Eisenhower Community Center, Room 233 at 1001 Highway 7 in Hopkins. Learn more at the Freshwater Society’s website or by contacting Alex Gehrig at firstname.lastname@example.org. The summit is open to groups inside and outside of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD).
Interested in forming a group to protect your favorite lake or stream within the District? The MCWD’s Watershed Association Initiative helps to get these citizen-led groups off the ground. Learn more on the MCWD website