Aquatic invasive species prevention

Hennepin County receives funding from the State of Minnesota to manage the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS), such as zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil, carp and other species.

See the AIS Prevention Program 2017 Accomplishments Report (PDF) for more information about how the county uses this funding.

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AIS prevention grants

Grants are available to help local units of government and organizations implement projects that prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.

For more information, see the Aquatic Invasive Species Prevent Grants flyer (PDF).

Eligible recipients

Eligible recipients include:

  • Local government agencies, such as cities, watershed organizations and park districts
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Public companies and institutions
  • Private, for-profit companies

Eligible project activities

Eligible project activities include:

  • Assessing the risk of AIS introduction and the resources available to respond.
  • Broadening knowledge and participation in early detection and rapid response.
  • Prevent the spread of AIS.
  • Researching and addressing specific pathways of introduction.
  • Increasing enforcement resources.
  • Increasing public awareness and participation in prevention.

Funding available

Up to $300,000 in grants funds are available. Typical project awards will range from $15,000 to $25,000, with a maximum project award of $50,000. No match required.

Eligible expenses include consulting fees, staff time, materials, supplies, labor, printing and promotions.


Applications due by 4:30 p.m. on January 12, 2018.

To apply, complete the:


Staff is available to answer questions, offer resources and provide feedback on project ideas.

For more information, contact Tony Brough at or 612-348-4378.

Recently awarded grants

Grants awarded 2017

In March 2017, the county awarded 14 grants totaling $320,000 to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. Funding will be used for inspections at public lake accesses, outreach and education, research on zebra mussels, boat cleaning facilities and more.

Grants were awarded to the following projects:

  • CD3 General Benefit Corporation: $63,000 to develop and test self-serve boat cleaning stations at North Arm and Spring Park public accesses on Lake Minnetonka
  • City of Bloomington: $25,000 to incorporate a boat-cleaning station and educational signage at West Bush Lake public access
  • City of Edina: $12,000 to develop teaching aids to use at public events and training
  • City of Mound: $45,000 to install a programmable message board at Surfside Park on Lake Minnetonka that will run aquatic invasive species prevention and safety messages
  • City of Eden Prairie: $28,000 to incorporate a boat-cleaning station and educational signage at Lake Riley public access
  • Christmas Lake Homeowners Association: $10,000 to support watercraft inspections at Christmas Lake in Excelsior
  • Fortin Consulting, Inc.: $25,000 to train lake association volunteers to monitor for aquatic invasive species at 16 lakes
  • Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board: $15,000 to develop educational tools and conduct outreach at boat launches
  • Minnetonka Yacht Club: $21,000 to create an on-site decontamination station and provide education to students and sailors
  • Nine Mile Creek Watershed District: $15,000 to develop educational activities and conduct outreach at community events
  • Three Rivers Park District: $25,000 to expand watercraft inspections and outreach activities at public accesses
  • University of Minnesota: $30,500 to conduct research on controlling population of zebra mussels
  • Wood Lake Nature Center: $5,500 to eradicate a goldfish population in Wood Lake in Richfield and provide education about how to properly dispose of aquatic pets

Grants awarded 2016

In April 2016, the county awarded four grants for projects that will prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species. The projects will increase education, enhance early detection efforts, expand inspections and support research.

Grants were awarded for the following projects:

  • Eagle Lake Preservation Association: $19,000 to sponsor a limnologist to inspect up to eight lakes throughout the county. The inspections will be conducted alongside lakeshore property owners who will be trained in how to detect possible new and emerging aquatic invasive species. The goal is to gain a better understanding of what aquatic invasive species are currently in the county and potentially detect new aquatic invasive species early when management may still be an option.
  • Minnehaha Creek Watershed District: $20,000 to continue its study with Montana State University and the University of Minnesota on the occurrence and distribution of watermilfoil genotypes on Lake Minnetonka. The grant will fund further investigation and genetic analysis of milfoil samples, allowing researchers to develop a clearer and more definitive understanding of the occurrence and distribution of watermilfoil genotypes in Lake Minnetonka and Christmas Lake. This further study will aim to determine if management is selecting for hybrids, if some or many hybrid genotypes are more resistant to control, and if strategies can be improved to manage pure Eurasian and hybrid watermilfoils.
  • Minnehaha Creek Watershed District: $24,000 to collaborate with the University of Minnesota to conduct field research on strategies to control population growth rates of zebra mussels.
  • Three Rivers Park District: $30,000 to expand watercraft inspection and outreach activities to encourage boaters to take action to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. Increased inspections and outreach will be expanded at public accesses on Christmas, Fish, Medicine, Bryan, Lower Twin and Little Long lakes.

In addition to awarding grants, the county will retain $111,000 of AIS Prevention Aid from the State of Minnesota to implement the following projects:

  • $70,000 to help purchase and install two programmable message boards on the Narrows Channel Bridge, one of the heaviest used boating channels on Lake Minnetonka. The board will communicate both AIS prevention and public safety messages.
  • $25,000 to raise awareness of necessary AIS prevention actions through the Clean, Drain, Dry campaign.
  • $16,000 for phase two of the alternative pathway project that will work with retailers in the county carrying regulated aquatic species to increase awareness among aquarium hobbyists, backyard pond owners, and water gardeners about the importance of not releasing unwanted fish or aquatic plants.
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