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WATERLINE - December, 2022

County-wide prevention infrastructure encourages boat owners to help control the spread of invasives


Hennepin County, in Minnesota’s Twin Cities metro area, is home to more than 60 public boat ramps in areas rural to urban. These public accesses are owned by a variety of state and local agencies, which brings challenges in creating consistent standards to prevent the spread of aquatic invasives.

The county is a Minnesota leader in developing behavioral cues like signage, pavement markers, arrows, and cleanout zones to encourage best management practices at public boat ramps/accesses. But after observing boater behaviors when no inspectors are on site, agency staff realized that these cues alone are insufficient to ensure public compliance 24/7.

Starting in 2017, the county began investing in CD3 Waterless Cleaning Systems to help facilitate positive behavior changes and empower the day-boating public to decontaminate their own boats by cleaning, draining, and drying.

“Arrows leading away from the launch to a ‘Stop Here’ sign or pavement markers have really worked to increase awareness and develop patterns that direct people to use the tools,” says Tony Brough, Senior Water Resource Planner for Hennepin County. County staff also realized that, on some sites, multiple units help move boaters away from the launch more quickly and increase prevention actions.

The county also developed an aquatic invasive species (AIS) community engagement strategy that gives grants for CD3 Systems to partners that agree to help with operation and maintenance of the equipment. By the end of the 2019 boating season, three local government agencies, two lake associations, and one non-profit had partnered with the county to procure and manage CD3 systems at eight locations.

Over the first season (2017) at three public access locations, CD3 Systems logged over 6,000 tool uses. In 2018, tool use increased by 50% and the county found (by covert observation) that, with CD3 Systems present, there was a 70% reduction in AIS violations. In 2019, with seven CD3 systems in the county, the equipment had nearly 25,000 total tool uses. Accessible 24/7, CD3 Stations have extended AIS budgets and increased public use of the equipment. CD3 Stations will be part of the AIS plan and budget options for the foreseeable future in Hennepin County.

For more information, email stopAIS@cd3systems.com, call 612-467-9441 or visit cd3systems.com