AIS Task Force (Completed)

The Task Force currently meets on the first and third Wednesdays of the month at 5 p.m. in the MCWD offices and its meetings are open to the public. View meeting notes and agendas here

In 2011 the Board of Managers of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District decided that it would develop an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Program, and the AIS Management Plan would be the basis of that Program.  The stated goal of the MCWD AIS Program will be ??to prevent the introduction and spread of AIS and manage existing AIS within the watershed to a level that does not significantly harm native ecosystems while still maintaining access to public waterbodies.?  While the eradication of existing AIS would be an ideal result, 100% eradication of AIS is highly unlikely once they are introduced to a waterbody.?

The Board has established an AIS Plan Task Force with stakeholders comprised of residents, water-oriented businesses, outdoor recreationists, and policy-maker-level representatives of key local governments.  It directed that the Task Force work primarily to develop and recommend a policy-based AIS Management Plan, with an emphasis of what should be in the Plan, rather thanhow it should be accomplished or implemented.  The Board provided a framework for the Task Force to develop the Plan:

Goal 1 – Prevention:  Implement procedures and practices to prevent new introductions or dispersal of aquatic invasive species within the District.

Goal 2 – Containment:  Develop management strategies to limit the spread of established populations of aquatic invasive species to and from the District.

Goal 3 – Control:  Abate, and where possible, eliminate harmful ecological, economic, social and public health impacts resulting from the infestation of aquatic invasive species in the District.

As the Task Force might consider ways to implement the Plan – its outcomes – the Board suggested that they could be structured around the following objectives associated with:

  1. Management plan implementation, and updates to the plan
  2. Coordination and collaboration
  3. Prevention and containment
  4. Early detection, rapid response, and monitoring
  5. Long-term control and management
  6. Research and information transfer
  7. Laws and regulation  

As the Plan would be developed as a policy document, Task Force members were to be more concerned with what the District should be doing, rather than how, and could indicate the relative levels of resources that should be committed.   Examples of policy-level matters may include:

  • Principles and values when addressing, controlling, and managing AIS
  • Preferred methods of management of AIS
  • Framework for confronting the presence of new AIS
  • Analysis of vectors of AIS (existing and potential)
  • Financial planning /strategies for management of AIS
  • Institutional (inter-governmental) arrangements to effectuate management of AIS
  • Community involvement
  • Public education and awareness

The Task Force iss supported by a Technical Advisory Committee, whose members came from the professional staffs of a variety of governmental agencies and academia.  They were resources called on individually and collectively to provide information and guidance, and to evaluate the effectiveness and feasibility of various management techniques identified by the Task Force.