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Learn about invasive species at the Great Minnesota get-together

By Brianna Liestman

Most of the Boating Industry staff is based in Minnesota, and so many of us have either already attended the Minnesota State Fair or are currently dreaming about eating our favorite foods on a stick.

In addition to all of the tasty treats, attendees of the state fair this year have an opportunity to learn about an important issue to those of us in boating: invasive species.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is offering a new exhibit on invasive species in the DNR Building that includes an interactive touchscreen where visitors can learn all the different on- and off-land ways to prevent spreading these aquatic invaders.

“This new interactive exhibit allows people of all ages to practice prevention steps in a fun new way,” said Tina Wolbers, DNR aquatic invasive species prevention planner. “It’s designed so even young children can do it. This teaches them the principles of ‘Clean, Drain, Dispose’ and ‘PlayCleanGo’ at an early age. We find that children often remind parents and grandparents to follow Minnesota’s invasive species laws, once they learn these simple steps.”

It’s vital that consumers are aware of what invasive species can do to their boats and all of the easy ways to prevent them from spreading. This education will keep people in boating long term who would otherwise get frustrated and leave the recreation, and it preserves the natural resources we rely on to get on the water.

If you happen to be in Minnesota during the fair (which runs through Sept. 4), I would encourage you to check it out and find out how you can become involved in the prevention of invasive species. And if you’re not, reach out to the Minnesota DNR for ideas on how you can bring that education to your own state!

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