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COLA to host meeting on invasive species

Whether Becker County residents own lakeshore property or not, they are affected by Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS).

Plants and animals that aren't in their native habitat are considered as AIS.

As part of the battle to stop AIS from spreading, the Becker County Coalition of Lake Associations is hosting experts from several agencies to give their advice on the issue as part of their annual meeting on Thursday night, Aug. 14, at the Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Detroit Lakes.

The meeting starts at 5 p.m., with a dessert buffet, and ends with a 9 p.m. question and answer session.

An in-depth seminar sponsored by COLA and the Becker County Master Gardeners, which begins at 9 a.m. on Aug. 15 and lasts until 4 p.m. at the MSCTC will provide greater information on the problem.

COLA feels the best way to prevent AIS infestation is through education.

AIS infestation is widespread in the state, with 30 percent of Minnesota's primary recreational lakes harboring at least one AIS.

It affects property owners the most, as values decrease $70 per shoreline foot with every 3-foot loss in water clarity. That loss can add up to $70,000 for every 100 feet of lakeshore.

In addition, Minnesota lake associations spend hundreds of thousands of dollars yearly to manage public resources for private use.

Thursday's annual meeting is free, but those wishing to attend Friday's in-depth seminar need to pre-register. The cost is $12.

Contact Linda Perrine at the Becker County Extension at 218-846-7328 no later than Monday, Aug. 11 to register.