by Melissa DeSimone, MLSA Executive Director

MLSA meets with DNR, EGLE, and other stakeholders to help create strategy for aquatic invasive species prevention and control. We met in August and September to make up for some missed time during the height of the quarantine. These are the highlights from the meeting minutes to help keep you informed of the latest AIS work.

Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund – Ballot Initiative
The trust fund was originally created by royalties for mineral acquisition and is used for park improvements (25%) / acquisition (75%). The Proposal 1 Ballot Initiative on the November ballot changes the percentage allocation to 25% park improvements / 25% land acquisition / 50% adjusted as needed. If rehabilitation is happening near a waterway, invasive species management could be incorporated. Details for how the money will be allocated are not clear. The proposal does not create new money; it deals with funds as they presently exist and are collected. The benefit of this change would be that less money is tied up in land acquisition, allowing for more needed improvements and management of lands already held by the state.
The DNR and Trust Fund Board support this proposal. 
More information can be found here:
Michigan Environmental Council
Prop 1 Website

Expanded Survey Proposal for Boating Access Sites
In the winter we reported on the Boating Access Site survey that was completed by DNR staff in 2019, you can read about that study here. The DNR has requested GLRI (Great Lakes Restoration Initiative) funds to continue work on the 2019 boating access site survey project so all DNR-managed access sites can be surveyed for AIS, in addition to a research project looking at the efficacy/feasibility of treating launch lanes to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive plants. The DNR awaits approval of funding for this expanded project.

Aquatic Invasive Species Passport
A Sub-Committee was created to discuss an AIS Passport, much like the Recreation Passport for vehicle registration. The AIS Passport would be voluntary and applied to boating registration. The Committee met in September and will continue to work out logistics for a voluntary contribution program. More details about this promising funding source for AIS prevention and control to come!

Boating Access Site Stencils
Did your boating access site get a paint job this summer? DNR staff have been stenciling paved access sites. Approximately 57% of paved sites have been stenciled so far around the state. Staff began working on this later than anticipated due to the pandemic and the stencils cannot be applied if the pavement is wet. It is anticipated that more sites will be done this fall as boater usage goes down so you may see the stencil at your site soon!

CLMP Program is Back for 2021 and Beyond
Meet MLSA Student Intern, Amanda Dow