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Pelican Lakes Association of Crow Wing County Honored for Aquatic Invasive Species Research Support

Web posted October 12, 2021
Pelican Lakes Association of Crow Wing County has been named one of the first ever recipients of the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center’s (MAISRC) Research Partnership Award. The award recognizes people, groups, and organizations who have gone above and beyond to contribute to MAISRC's mission of advancing aquatic invasive species knowledge and inspiring action to protect and restore Minnesota’s beloved waters.

The Pelican Lakes Association of Crow Wing County (PLA) is a dynamic organization committed to preserving the quality of life and the environmental health of the Pelican Lakes through the promotion of environmental stewardship and educational programs. The association represents two lakes: Pelican Lake, the largest lake in Crow Wing County, and Little Pelican Lake, both of which are situated within the Pine River Watershed in central Minnesota. The leadership, along with over 500 annual donors of the association, are committed to preserving the beauty and health of the Pelican Lakes through a variety of actions. These include active monitoring programs, AIS management and prevention, coordination with other groups and agencies, and outreach to the local community.

“PLA has been a supporter of MAISRC since our early years, as a financial and in-kind contributor, advisor, and legislative advocate. In fact, the first meeting I had after becoming MAISRC Director was on the shores of Pelican Lake. PLA has played an instrumental role in MAISRC’s ability to form the Zebra Mussel Research Fellowship, which is focused on developing in-lake control options for zebra mussels. Most recently, Susan Koering, President of PLA, supported the MAISRC/USGS copper control study by providing her family beach as a study site. Other association members were actively engaged with the research team to provide local perspectives and advice,” said Nick Phelps, MAISRC Director.

The MAISRC Research and Partnership Awards were announced at the Center’s annual Research and Management Showcase event recently (9/22/21). PLA was one of four honorees in the award’s first ever cohort. Nominations for the award were solicited from MAISRC research teams and partner program staff, and Advisory Board.

“In 2012, when Pelican Lake was identified as infested with zebra mussels, Dr. Art Weaver was the association’s president. He had a challenge to lead our Association forward. We’ve learned to work with our partners to help manage, and hopefully control, zebra mussels along with some curly-leaf pondweed. We work with the MN DNR, Crow Wing County, and the Pine River Watershed. Lake water is tested annually along with the annual checks for invasive aquatic plants. Inspectors provide weekend boat checks at our four boat landings,” explained Susan Koering during her award acceptance speech on behalf of the Association.

Funding for MAISRC is provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR), the State of Minnesota, and private donors.

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