Via the St. Croix River Association:
Boat decontamination units will visit the St. Croix River on July 26, 27, and 28. These units will decontaminate boats to aid in preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS).
Decontamination units are portable high pressure and high temperature wash units that allow boat inspectors to decontaminate watercraft at public water accesses without allowing any of the water to run off. These units help remove invasive species from boats and protect our waterways.
AIS are non-native species that cause environmental or economic harm, or harm to human health. AIS in the St. Croix River include zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil, curlyleaf pondweed, bighead carp, rusty crayfish, and Asian clams. Decontamination units help ensure we do not spread those species to nearby waterbodies, and protect the St. Croix from new invaders.
AIS are a threat to the overall health of the St. Croix River and its tributaries. One of the first eight nationally designated wild and scenic rivers, the St. Croix is one of the cleanest tributaries to the Mississippi River. It is a high-value fishery, and the healthy, diverse ecosystem includes at least 40 species of mussels, several of which are rare or endangered. The introduction of aggressive invasive species into this complex system threatens the ecological integrity of the river as well as the unique cultural resources and our outdoor heritage.
The Minnesota DNR will staff two units on the St. Croix River. One unit will be at Afton Bluffs on Thursday and Saturday and one will be at the Boomsite landing on Monday. Chisago County will staff one unit at Osceola Landing in Chisago County Friday through Sunday. The inspectors will clean boats at risk for spreading aggressive AIS.