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.

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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 3 p.m. on Monday, January 14, 2019.

New application process for 2019

Applications must be submitted through the new online Supplier Portal.

To access the RFP and apply:

  • Visit the Supplier Portal
  • View the application materials by going to Grant Opportunity - Aquatic Invasive Species Grant
  • You need to be registered to submit an application. For detailed instructions on how to register and submit an application, including video tutorials and more, visit the Supplier Portal information page.  


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 2018

In March 2018, the county awarded 11 grants totaling $198,000. Organizations will use funding for early detection of aquatic invasive species, inspections at public lake accesses, outreach and education, research, watercraft cleaning facilities and more.

Grant were awarded to the following projects:

  • Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission: $20,000 to purchase and install a watercraft cleaning station at French Regional Park along the north shore of Medicine Lake.
  • CD3 General Benefit Corporation: $15,000 to build upon a project funded last year that developed a waterless cleaning station installed at numerous boat launches in the county.
  • Christmas Lake Homeowners Association: $10,000 to help fund watercraft inspections every hour that Christmas Lake public access is open.
  • City of Eden Prairie: $9,000 to conduct research on Brittle Naiad, an invasive plant about which very little is known.
  • City of Long Lake: $33,675 to purchase and install a watercraft cleaning station at the public access on Long Lake.
  • Fortin Consulting Inc.: $18,500 to fund early aquatic invasive species detection efforts throughout the county, including providing volunteer assistance and training. Fortin received a second grant for $18,000 to survey 12 bodies of water that don't have boat access for the presence of aquatic invasive species to evaluate possible unidentified pathways for aquatic invasive species reaching these waters.
  • Lake Minnetonka Conservation District: $10,000 to expand public access inspection times at smaller accesses around Lake Minnetonka.
  • Three Rivers Park District: $20,000 to purchase and install a watercraft cleaning station at Lake Minnetonka Regional Park and $33,000 to expand inspections at public accesses throughout the county.
  • Wayzata Sailing Foundation: $11,000 to engage youth in discovery, monitoring and exploration of aquatic invasive species in Lake Minnetonka.

Reports and studies

Public access redesign study

The county has redesigned several public accesses using theories from behavior change research to prompt boaters to take proper aquatic invasive species prevention actions. The county commissioned an observational study to evaluate the effectiveness of the redesign in encouraging boaters to take action. 

Key takeaways from the study include:

  • Redesigned accesses have better compliance rates
  • Redesigned accesses have better self-inspection rates
  • Redesigned accesses are successful at creating social norms and prompting action
  • Boaters behave differently when DNR inspectors are present
  • Data on tool use and timing can be used to improve AIS prevention programs
  • Traditional access signage has limited affect
  • Redesigning accesses can be cost effective way to prevent the spread of AIS

Based on the study results, county staff recommend expanding efforts to redesign accesses to promote aquatic invasive species prevention actions in conjunction with optimizing use times and creating uncertainty as to when inspectors will be present.

Read the full public access redesign observation summary report (PDF) to learn more.

Annual accomplishments report

The annual accomplishments report highlights how Hennepin County is using the state funding and the results of the projects we support.

See the AIS Prevention Program 2017 Accomplishments Report (PDF).

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