Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates believes that science must drive natural resource decisions. In 2012, as zebra mussels were starting to spread across the state, we worked on a multi-pronged effort of education in the media, legislative solutions, and science.
The MN Legislature, using both Natural Resources Trust Fund dollars and direct appropriations, created the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center that year.
Science takes time, but workable solutions are starting to emerge and the early investment is starting to pay off.
"There are reasons to be optimistic... science can make a difference." Dr. Nick Phelps to the House Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee.
To see his full presentation, CLICK HERE.
During his testimony at the House Environment an Natural Resources Policy Committee, Dr. Phelps referenced new findings, "Hot off the presses." In reference to a big lake study of the impacts of AIS on fisheries by Dr. Gretchen Hansen, he said, "The impacts of spiny waterflea and zebra mussels are significant. They (walleye/perch) do grow slower in lakes that have zebra mussels or spiny waterflea. Slower growing fish reduces survival in the first year."
Dr. Phelps went on to note that of the nine large lakes studied, Mille Lacs is the only one that has both invasive species.
Reliable, ongoing funding that provides scientific independence to the MAISRC has never been provided. Instead they have had to cobble together operating funds from a variety of sources. Said Dr. Phelps, "Baseline funding is important. It is hard to plan longterm efforts when you have to jump grant to grant."
Please take action today to let your elected officials know that you support the work of the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center, and urge them to find a way to provide funding that is; 1) reliable, 2) sufficient to meet core needs, 3) provides independence to MAISRC researchers.
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Thank you for all you do and please keep in touch,