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“I-LIDS” Technology in Fight Against AIS

Web posted April 22, 2014
By Darril Wegscheid, RALALA Lake Mgmt Plan Coordinator

Environmental Sentry Protection, LLC’s technology (ILIDS) is being installed this spring at two boat ramps for the Roosevelt And Lawrence Area Lakes Association (RALALA) in Outing/Emily MN. Paid for by RALALA, and installed in coordination with CLT - Crooked Lake Township - (at Luscher Park) and the MN DNR (at Highway 6 Roosevelt), the devices increase and improve the contacts with boaters / water users. The system is ‘activated’ by a boat or vehicle approaching the boat ramp – whether launching or recovering a watercraft. If interested, please see the website at http://www.environmentalsentry.com/preventative-intro.htm for more details and images from other installed sites.

Pictured left is the ILIDS device – standing about 30” tall, anchored into the ground, and made of hardened metal – the device provides (on a 7 x 24 basis) a recorded message (audible within a range of 20 feet) to the vehicle’s operator as they approach. It reminds them of AIS prevention efforts, and captures visual images of the trailer and boat to help observe practices at the launch. In addition, there is special signage to also help spread the word about preventing the spread of invasive species – especially about zebra mussels. The system also transmits information to a separate monitoring function, where images are stored for appropriate review by trained personnel. As the firm’s website states: “Prevention requires monitoring of boat launches to lakes. Effective training and procedures for volunteers and paid workers exist. Many lakes have commitments to monitor the launches several weekends out of the summer. While in-person monitoring is ideal, challenges such as costs, availability, scheduling, training, still exist. To reduce the risk of (contamination by) a visitor launching at an odd hour, it's important to be on duty all the time.”

RALALA President Bob Lee responded to local resident’s questions by stating: “I am confident we can adjust the sound level so that it will not be intrusive. We do want it to operate at night, because we believe there is significant numbers of night launches based on data collected by other I-LIDs in operation.

And CLT Board chairman Lloyd Thyen also stated to local residents that “When the CLT Board approved the installation of the device by RALALA, I assure you it was assumed that the sound would not "disturb the peace," day or night . . . but the very bottom line in this case, is that if the sound from the device is considered unreasonable . . . the sound will be turned off, or the authorization for the installation rescinded by the Board.”

These devices have been used in numerous areas of WI and MN, and use also began in 2013 at Ruth Lake in Emily, MN. The results have been significant in educating users. They have also assisted the DNR in following-up with boaters who had been lesscareful than required in managing their watercraft while entering or leaving the lake.

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