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For more information on materials several links may be of interest:
Current Government Efforts
Many government efforts (DNR, USGS, SeaGrant) are aligned with educational materials on the danger of AIS's to our lakes. There is good information on the dangers, and there are programs geared at educating youth. In question is whether the material is effectively reaching the boaters who present the greatest risk of infesting our lakes. This is based on the landing site observations of how compliant users are with monitoring for the spread of invasive species.
Landing Monitoring Programs
All it takes is one. Because invasives are spread by boats, it’s recognized that the boat launches (or landings) are a key point where the battle to educate and stop invasives must be focused. Most states DNR organizations have invested some resources in these areas.
In Minnesota the DNR has developed an Inspections program that is staffed by trained interns hired by the DNR. In 2005 the DNR spent $553,000 in the general category of inspections/enforcement. During this time 40 watercraft inspectors worked during the summer to provide information to the public on invasive species. 19,902 hours were spent inspecting 54,713 watercraft. Specific to enforcement, 2,809 hours were spent by conservation officers enforcing invasive species laws and rules. During that time 5 citations and 15 written warnings were issued.
Launch monitoring requires significant resources. A single season launch demands 2,880 hours of daylight monitoring, which is difficult to address. Even with an investment in intern monitoring at launches, the threat to Lake Minnetonka from Zebra Mussels remains high due to the inspection program covering less than 14% of the potential usage hours at all landings. Because the cost to cover all hours at landings at Lake Minnetonka could cost over $500,000, staffing the landings does not provide a complete solution for inspection coverage.
In Wisconsin the DNR has established the Clean Boats/Clean Waters program which conducts training for lake association groups and volunteers to educate and empower them to monitor their own lakes boat launch. The information and materials from this course can provide a first step to monitoring a boat launch. Lake Associations will still have to identify volunteers or coordinate summer help to cover the landings. Many lakes recognize that just staffing a boat launch with 2 interns at $10 per hour for 8 hours per weekend can quickly add up to $320+ in costs per weekend and doesn’t achieve complete monitoring goals.