May 2017 Letter from the Director
Hello from MAISRC!
It seems we’ve finally made it to spring! As you prepare to open your cabin or make your plans for fishing opener, I want to bring to your attention a recent op-ed I co-wrote with Jeff Forester of Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates for MinnPost.
My points in this article – that although AIS may seem overwhelming, we can’t give up – are central to my belief system and to my leadership at MAISRC. I truly believe that we do not have to accept a future for our children and grandchildren defined by unchecked AIS spread. We do not have to accept destroyed health and biodiversity of aquatic ecosystems, impaired water quality, threatened native species, and impeded access for recreational use. We do not have to pass on a water legacy of negative economic impacts to businesses, tourism, property values, and in turn, the local tax base. We can learn from past success stories and advance scientific innovation to better prevent, control and manage AIS in Minnesota.
The first and biggest hurdle, the one upon which all success ultimately depends, however, is our mindset.
We must set success as our unified goal and give up the notion that there is nothing that can be done. Conceding defeat ensures one inevitable outcome: AIS will continue to spread, establish and degrade our lakes, rivers, and wetlands – likely at an increasing rate.
I am not naïve to the seemingly insurmountable challenges posed by AIS and work every day to address them. I know that solutions will not be easy, fast or cheap. However, I am hopeful for many reasons and believe that if anyone, at any time, could move forward to solve AIS problems, it is Minnesota right now.
Check out the rest of the op-ed here, and I encourage you to remain determined to help solve the AIS issues facing our state.
Time to get back to the lab…
Dr. Nick Phelps
Co-Director, Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center