Minnesota spends $10M a year to battle invasive species

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota is spending millions annually to fight invasive species in its lakes and waterways, but the damaging plants and animals are continuing to spread.

Minnesota Public Radio News reports that the state Legislature since 2014 has set aside $10 million each year for counties to fight invasive species like zebra mussels and starry stonewort.

Counties receive funding after submitting a spending plan. No detailed financial reports are required.

All but three of the state’s counties receive money from the state to fight aquatic invasive species. The state allocates funds by using a formula based on the county’s number of public boat landings and boat trailer parking spaces.

The funds have prompted new initiatives, but it’s unclear if the money is protecting Minnesota’s lakes. Reporting is slim and invasive species are tough to track.

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