Keep the streets and storm drains free of leaves

Did you know that just five bags of leaves and organic debris from streets and sidewalks can contain one pound of phosphorus? Over time, this can lead to the growth of hundreds of pounds of algae.

Let’s keep leaves out of our streets and storm drains to prevent polluting run off in our lakes and creeks.

With RAIN predicted this Saturday morning, please rake leaves from your curb, sidewalk & street today or Friday to protect our creeks, rivers and lakes!

Please tell us how many bags you collected at http://freshwater.org/WorkForWater/report.php

Tell them that you heard about the Work for Water Neighborhood Challenge from the Alliance for Sustainability.

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Season End Message to Lake Minnewashta Homeowners

This message is intended to pass on some ideas for the fall, update you on our aquatic invasive species (AIS) activities, give you a quick update on our dues collections, and a few other important items.

For those of you who still have boats and docks still in the water, please be aware of a few things:

  1.  Any dock and lift companies you hire should be “certified Lake Service Providers.” That means they have gone through a MN DNR course on AIS, and therefore, they should know how to keep from spreading AIS from one lake to another.   If you are using a group that has not been certified, you are putting the lake at greater risk, and we ask that you reconsider your choice.  The DNR list of “certified” Lake Service Providers is organized by county, but I suggest you just search for your dock and lift company by name.  The companies you hire should be able to tell you that they are “certified,” know what to do, and do it.  If they can’t … please get a “certified” company to provide those services to you.
  2.  Some of your boats are taken out using rental trailers or trailers provided by someone else.  Those trailers may have been last used in Lake Minnetonka or lakes with AIS that we don’t have in Lake Minnewashta, and therefore, they pose additional risks for spreading AIS.  If your boats are being removed with a trailer that is not yours, please insist that it be decontaminated before it is used at Lake Minnewashta.
  3. Finally, please follow these same guidelines in 2013. If you are planning to buy any used docks or lifts, please be sure they have been out of the water for the winter before you have them put into Lake Minnewashta as the winter’s freezing temperatures will kill any attached AIS.

The leaves are everywhere this time of year, but to the extent possible, they should not be going into the lake.  Letting grass clippings and leaves get into the lake increases the phosphorus, and that is not a good thing as algae growth is associated with having too much phosphorus in the lake.  You will be hearing more about this and other storm water runoff concerns in the future, but there are some things that you can do now.  If you are so inclined, take a rake with you on your walks and rake leaves out of the gutters and sewer grates and back on the ground where they can decompose without getting into the lake.  If you walk without your trusty rake, try to notice how many leaves will be getting into the drainage system.  This simple step of keeping excess leaves out of the draining systems and out of the lake can make a difference.

Our Pilot AIS inspection program at the Lake Minnewashta Regional Park boat ramp ended on September 15th. Over 2000 watercraft were inspected and two boats were turned away at the launch after zebra mussels were found on them. We hope the program was successful and kept our lake free from additional AIS this year. Unfortunately, there is a gestation period of one to two years before we will know for sure.  It was expensive, but the costs were predictable and we educated a lot of watercraft users with the inspection program.  Our thanks go to Carver County and the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District who provided the bulk of the money and the resources to perform the inspections this year.

We have been working with the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District as we plan our AIS prevention efforts for 2013.  Our primary approaches will continue to be Education, Inspection and Enforcement. While there are lots of challenges trying to inspect every boat going into Lake Minnetonka, we can do it for Lake Minnewashta, and I believe we must.  As we look forward to 2013 and beyond, we need to look towards continued inspections and lower costs for that protection.  There are several initiatives underway for 2013, but it will be several more months before we know what will be possible.

The November elections will give us many new elected officials and hopefully we can retain ones that have been supportive of our AIS efforts.  As you decide who gets your vote, please consider their stance on aggressive AIS prevention measures as well as using local funds to supplement funds from lake associations and other government entities.

  • The City of Chanhassen has been a challenge to our AIS prevention efforts.  The Lotus Lake association recently completed a candidate survey asking questions about their support for AIS prevention.  Bethany Tjornhom and Jerry McDonald have not been supportive of managing access to Lotus Lake and other aggressive AIS prevention efforts.  Candidates Pettis, Relick or Winterer appear to be much more supportive. Kirk Pettis in fact is a Lake Minnewashta resident.
  • Every Carver County Commissioner seat is up for election this year.  You should know that we have been very well supported in our AIS prevention efforts by Tom Workman.
  • The redistricting of the state puts all of Lake Minnewashta in the same districts: District 47 for the Senate and District 47B for the House.
    • In the State Senate race between Julianne Ortman and Jim Weygand, neither website addresses AIS as one of the issues. Ortman is thought to be less sympathetic to AIS issues as a champion of limited government. Weygand at least has a picture of a clear water stream on his website.
    • In the State House race, Joe Hoppe is running unopposed.                                                 

Lastly, our Fall Picnic has been postponed  and will be combined with our Annual Meeting on April 28th, 2013. It was a lot of work to plan this event and our volunteers suggested combining the two.

I want to thank all of you who have contributed to our 2012 dues campaign.  This year your contributions totaled only $6,000, which is much lower than in past years. If you haven’t yet contributed, please consider a tax deductible contribution to provide the funds that are so necessary in our work as stewards of Lake Minnewashta. Checks can be made out to LMPA and mailed to PO Box 304, Excelsior MN 55331.

Thank you,

Steve Gunther

president, Lake Minnewashta Preservation Association

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Fox 9 Investigators – Invasive Species Enablers

The following story is shared from the Fox 9 Investigators. The original story (including the video of the story) may be found on their web site here.

The land of 10,000 lakes is under attack. Invasive species are spreading from lake to lake, and the FOX 9 Investigators examined DNR tickets to see who’s responsible and where they’re getting caught.

Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources has handed out more than a 1,000 warnings to boaters since January of 2012, and 800 people got citations that included fines of up to a $100.

Even so, it’s still happening after years of pounding home the message that pests like milfoil and zebra mussels hitchhike from one lake to another on boats and trailers. If given the chance, just two inches of milfoil can overrun a lake. Sometimes it can pack a double whammy and come accessorized with zebra mussels.

The FOX 9 Investigators analyzed tickets from 2012 to see who’s breaking Minnesota’s aquatic invader laws. People of all ages have been caught, but folks from Lakeville made up the largest group of violators. A total of 41 residents of Lakeville got either warnings or tickets. Duluth was second highest with 31.

Prior Lake tops the list of where offenders are getting caught. Lake Minnetonka is next, followed by Brainerd’s Gull Lake and the Mississippi River. Unless more people are careful, there’s no telling if this invasion will ever end.

Yet, even after getting a warning or a fine, some people still don’t get it. There were six individuals who have been caught more than once this year, and one had a ticket trifecta. Why the repeated violations?

“I guess I was ignorant of the law the first couple of times,” Dan Zitzloff told the FOX 9 Investigators.

In March, he got a warning from the DNR for not removing the drain plug from his boat. In April, Zitzloff got another warning for a similar violation. The DNR stopped him again in June, and he was fined for transporting his boat with water in the “live well.”

The DNR has 160 officers out in the field trying to put the brakes on the aquatic invasion. This year, they spent 15,000 hours writing out warning tickets and citations.

Read more: http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/19639981/investigators-invasive-species-enablers#ixzz27aF1foH1

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AIS Roadshow on September 1 at Maynard’s

As part of our AIS Education grant activity, Scot Lacek and our intern Ben had an .  They presented a display on the sidewalk leading to the restaurant patio and boat dock.  There was lots of interest, discussion, and education/awareness of the zebra mussel problem.  Scot and Ben interfaced with over 50  people, and were visible to over a couple hundred people.  Like our other AIS Roadshows in various locations throughout our Watershed, this was well received.

We hope to repeat this a couple more times as our season comes to a close.

 

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August 21, 2012 LMPA Board Meeting Minutes

Attached are the August 21, 2012 LMPA Board Meeting Minutes that were reviewed and approved at the September18th, 2012 board meeting.

August 21 2012 LMPA Board Meeting Minutes

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Minutes of the June 20, 2012 LMPA Board Meeting

 Minutes of the June 20 2012 Board Meting

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