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St. Louis County receives funding to fight invasive species

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MN -- St. Louis County is set to begin taking a more aggressive approach to fighting off invasive species.

The board recently approved $650,000 of state funds for eight projects.

The projects will prevent the introduction of and spread of aquatic invasive species in area waterways.

Here's a list of the projects:

$398,600 to the North St. Louis Soil and Water Conservation District to manage watercraft inspections, decontamination, and public education on Bear Island, Birch, Burntside, Crane, Ely, Gilbert-Pit, Johnson, Kabetogama, One Pine, Pelican, Shagawa, and Vermilion Lakes.

$98,000 to Wildlife Forever for marketing efforts for their Clean Drain Dry Initiative campaign aimed at public awareness and education, and behavioral change.

$42,191 to Vermilion Lake Association for continued watercraft inspections and cleaning, public awareness and education, habitat evaluation and threat assessment, early detection and response efforts, and partnership development.

$30,000 to Canosia Township for watercraft inspections and public education on Pike Lake and Caribou Lake.

$24,450 to the University of Minnesota Sea Grant for a pilot project to install CD3 hub stations at four public water accesses (St. Louis River Boy Scout and Munger Landings, Island Lake Abbott Road Landing, and Pike Lake Public Access) to enable boaters to self-inspect their own watercraft.

$22,164 to Grand Lake Township for watercraft inspections on Caribou Lake.

$20,000 to Community Action Duluth for continued eradication, control, mapping, andd monitoring of non-native phragmites in the St. Louis River Estuary.

$19,125 to Burntside Lake Association for continued training of boat inspectors, promote the use of boat cleaning stations, improve public awareness and education about AIS, build early detection capabilities, and partnership development.

The amount of funding received from the state is based on a formula that factors each county’s share of watercraft trailer launches and watercraft trailer parking spaces. Of Minnesota's 87 counties, St. Louis County has the second highest number of watercraft trailer launches (170) and the highest number of watercraft trailer parking spaces (1,429).

Reporter Anthony Matt

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