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New Exotic Species Projects Funded

Minnesota Sea Grant will receive $358,000 in funding from the National Sea Grant College Program for several aquatic nuisance species (ANS) projects that each span two years. Minnesota Sea Grant will lead two projects, and will cooperate with other national Sea Grant programs on three others.

Our first project looks at reducing the risk of spreading ANS when baitfish are harvested in infested waters. We will be cooperating Great Lakes-wide with many individuals involved in the bait industry and with natural resource management agencies. As more states prohibit harvesting bait from infested waters, the bait industry faces economic hardship if they cannot ensure that their operations and products are ANS-free. A 1992 survey estimated that baitfish sales in six north central states have an annual value of $165 million.

Sea Grant and state departments of natural resources will coordinate training programs that will teach representatives from the baitfish industry to identify ANS, help them understand new ANS-related baitfish regulations, and learn how to comply with these regulations. We will also work with resource management agencies to mediate potentially contentious issues and help sustain small wholesale and retail businesses and the communities that depend upon them. Principle investigators for this project are Jeff Gunderson and Doug Jensen.

Our second major project involves conducting a multi-state survey to evaluate the effectiveness of ANS boater education programs. We will develop a survey to measure boater attitudes and behavior changes in five freshwater and marine states (MN, OH, VT, KS, and CA). The survey will be adaptable for any state or agency seeking to assess the effectiveness of their ANS public awareness programming.

Through this effort, Sea Grant and its partners will be able to provide the tools necessary to more effectively deliver public programming aimed at minimizing the spread of ANS. Principle investigators are Jeff Gunderson and Doug Jensen.

The subjects of the other two-year projects we will participate in are: invasive aquatic plants outreach and research, biological control of purple loosestrife by 4-H volunteers, and ANS as a geographical teaching tool.


By Sea Grant Staff
September 1999

Return to September 1999 Seiche



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