Grants awarded 2021
In March 2021, the county awarded eight grants totaling $123,600. The projects will prevent and slow the spread of aquatic invasive species by using emerging technologies to detect aquatic invasive species early in lakes, supporting research and outreach on pathways beyond boat accesses, expanding inspections and outreach at public lake accesses, and funding research and education.
Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission
$10,000 to design, fabricate, and install new AIS signage for fishing piers, carry-in access sites and some smaller boat launches in the watershed. This will include locations within the cities of Golden Valley, Plymouth, and St. Louis Park.
Fortin Consulting Inc.
$20,000 to assess boater behavior when access inspectors are not present. The project is a continuation from 2017–2019 baseline observational measurements. The project will observe a total of six accesses of varying sizes. Half of the selected accesses have been redesigned with an emphasis on AIS prevention.
Lake Minnetonka Association
$5,000 to conduct a comprehensive lake survey for the Starry Stonewort plant. This species is new to Hennepin County and currently only known to be in Medicine Lake. This early detection project will survey more than 1,700 locations.
Lake Minnetonka Conservation District
$26,000 to re-design Grays Bay public access on Lake Minnetonka with an emphasis on AIS prevention. Two areas will be designated for boaters to Clean, Drain, Dry, & Dispose (CD3) as necessary for their watercraft. Modeled from successful past access re-design projects, two CD3 stations will be installed creating a social norm and providing the tools for the public. The LMCD is providing $20,000 in-kind funding towards this project.
Nine Mile Creek Watershed District
$7,600 to continue year two of a goldfish assessment in the Lake Cornelia system in Edina. The small goldfish commonly purchased as pets become a problem when people release the fish into a pond or lake when they no longer want them. In the wild, goldfish grow very large and outcompete native fish for food and ultimately upset the lake ecosystem. This funding will be used for technology to monitor movement patterns of goldfish. The NMCWD is providing $40,720 of in-kind funding towards this project.
$20,000 to provide randomized countywide watercraft inspections and focus on boater education services. The program will focus on locations or times where access inspection is not provided by other programs.
$25,000 to design, create, and display long lasting art awareness on Lake Minnetonka. The five unique sets of sails, highlighting AIS issues, will be unveiled at Wayzata Art Experience and will remain in use with Wayzata Sailing regular programming. The school will contract with an art educator focused on Indigenous culture and practices in the development of the art.
Weaver Lake Conservation Association
$10,000 to pilot the use of a HydroSweep, a device that keeps water moving to reduce the floating vegetation around the public access, and thereby preventing it from attaching to the boat/trailer. This public access is quite weedy and has a high boater vegetation violation rate. In-kind infrastructure and time for this project has been provided by the association and the City of Plymouth. University of Minnesota graduate students will help assess a baseline and measure effectiveness of this technology for access AIS prevention.