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Become an aquatic invasive species volunteer

by Scott Hanson

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is offering free training to people interested in becoming a volunteer at public water accesses to help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS).

The training sessions are offered in each region of the state by watercraft inspection program staff from the DNR. The class includes an introduction to AIS and the problems the species cause, information about the laws and how to work with the public.

With more than 11,000 lakes at risk, the more people we can train the better equipped well be to educate the public about AIS, said Adam Doll, DNR acting watercraft inspections coordinator. We encourage everyone who recreates on Minnesota lakes and rivers to become aware of the threat and help prevent the spread of aquatic invaders.

By taking a few easy steps to clean boats and equipment and drain all water, anglers and boaters can ensure theyre not spreading invasive species such as zebra mussels and Eurasian watermilfoil.

After completing a training session, volunteers will be able to help educate watercraft users at public water accesses about the risks of aquatic invasive species.

For a list of volunteer training locations visit: www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/ ais_volunteer.html . Additional training sessions can be scheduled for groups of 20 or more. Contact area regional watercraft inspection supervisor at www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/ ais/contacts.html .