The Lakes Of Douglas County Need A Hand

If you want to help protect our precious lakes, here’s a way to do it.

Douglas County is joining other counties across Minnesota to search for starry stonewort, one of the state’s newest aquatic invasive species.  The Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center +  University of Minnesota Extension call it Starry Trek: Where No Algae Searcher Has Gone Before.  The target, this stuff…

                                                             Starry Stonewart

Julie Anderson, Douglas County Emergency Management/Public Information Officer,  provides details.

Saturday, August 17 volunteers will gather at local training sites, including one in Douglas County, to learn how to identify starry stonewort and other aquatic invasive species and search for them in area lakes. Volunteers will meet at 526 Willow Drive at 8:30am for training, then be sent to nearby public water accesses to check for starry stonewort. At the end of the day, they’ll return to the local training site to report their findings.

Starry stonewort was first discovered four years ago in Minnesota at Lake Koronis near Paynesville.  It has since spread to 14 Minnesota lakes.

Megan Weber, Extension Educator with the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center, says,

“This event is a terrific way for people to get outdoors, get educated about aquatic invasive species, and help protect their area lakes.  The information we gain at this event helps researchers and managers understand its current distribution and potentially take action if new infestations are found.”

No experience or equipment is necessary to participate in Starry Trek. Expert training on monitoring protocols and starry stonewort identification will be provided on-site. The event is free, and a light lunch and refreshments will be served.

Justin Swart, Environmental Planning Technician with Douglas County Land & Resource Management  adds,

“We’re excited to be partnering with the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center for this event.  Protecting our lakes for future generations is really important to us all, and we want to make sure we’re doing the best we can to prevent the introduction and spread of AIS by actively engaging people with early detection efforts.”

Registration is requested. Go to www.starrytrek.org  Children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

 

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