Hundreds Gather in St. Cloud to Study Aquatic Invasive Species
ST. CLOUD -- Hundreds of scientists, resort owners, government experts and concerned citizens are in St. Cloud this week for the second Aquatic Invaders Summit.
The group is coming together to find best practices in fighting invasive species in our lakes and rivers.
Jeff Forester is the Executive Director of Minnesota Lakes & Rivers Advocates. He says as we discover more infested lakes, we're also finding new invasive species.
"We're just feeling the tip of the spear. You know, Zebra Mussels are bad and now Starry Stonewart...which can be very destructive, but there's worse stuff coming. So, this is the wake-up call. We need to get our arms around the way we are moving our boats around, we need to clean, drain, dry. We need to protect the lakes."
Some of the new and innovative ways of detecting and fighting invasive species include zebra mussel-sniffing dogs, boat quarantine strategies, and gene splicing technology to control the spread of aquatic invasive species.
Forester says aquatic invasive species have a local impact and it needs to be fought at the local level. He says funding isn't where it needs to be, but it isn't the main problem. Forester says education and enforcement go hand-in-hand, and it takes all of us to be stewards of our water resources.