Reminder: AIS Prevention Aid Program Stakeholder Meeting This Week

The Anoka County Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) team will be leading a stakeholder meeting to discuss the AIS Prevention Aid Program. They will summarize this year’s activities and discuss what the program may look like moving forward. Please join them to share your constructive insights and comments.

The meeting will be held this Thursday, November 21st from 2-3:30 pm at the Bunker Hills Activities Center (Maple Room).

Agenda Items:

  1. Welcome and Summary of County AIS Program for 2019
  2. Review Draft for 2020 AIS Prevention Aid Guidelines
  3. Identify Gaps in the Guidelines and Explore Additional Needs and Ideas to Improve the AIS Prevention Aid Program
  4. Wrap-Up and Adjourn

Let Jessica Abarca (Anoka County Parks Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator) know if you have any questions about the meeting or the program. She can be reached at or 763-324-3333.

Clean Drinking Water Poster Contest

Calling all Minnesota students! Design a poster about how or why all Minnesotans should conserve and protect our drinking water – you will learn about drinking water and help be an advocate… you could even win a water bottle filling system for your school! Safe drinking water is everyone’s responsibility. It’s up to all of us to keep it clean and safe, now and for the future.

ENTRY DEADLINE: March 6th, 2020

First place winners in each grade category will receive an Elkay Water Bottle Filling System for their school/community and a $50 prize. Second and third place category winners will receive gift certificates. Winners will be announced on March 23, 2020.

Categories: Elementary (grades K-5), Middle school (grades 6-8), and High school (grades 9-12).

Click here for the Contest Rules – be sure to read them carefully to ensure you are eligible for the contest.

The Contest Website also has links to learn more about the issue to help you create an informative poster.

Waterline: Winter 2019-2020 Out Now

The latest issue of Waterline, the official newsletter of the Drinking Water Protection Section of the Minnesota Department of Health, is now available online.

Click here to read the latest issue.

This issue has news about training and regulatory information, a feature story about innovative water plants in south-central Minnesota, and more.

You can find past issues of Waterline here.

You can also subscribe to get new issues of Waterline delivered right to your email inbox. There is a link on both of the webpages linked above to subscribe.

Lower Rum River WMO Plan Update – Resident Survey Open

If you live in Ramsey, Anoka, or the North/West part of Andover (see map below), you live in the Lower Rum River Watershed. The Lower Rum River Watershed Management Organization (WMO) is starting the update to their Water Management Plan and they want to hear from you!

Take a few minutes to thoughtfully answer a couple short questions at the link below:

Click here to go to the resident survey.

Your responses are appreciated! For more information, click here to visit their website.

Below is a close-up of the Lower Rum River Watershed:

Agenda for North & East Metro GWMA

The next Advisory Team meeting for the North and East Metro Groundwater Management Area will be this Friday, November 8th at the Vadnais Heights Commons (655 County Road F East, Vadnais Heights, MN 55127) from 9 am – 12 noon. The meeting is open to the public.

Topics to be presented:

  • A presentation from Freshwater on a groundwater recharge project
  • An update on the 3M settlement workgroups and activities
  • An update on the Transient Groundwater Flow Model
  • A White Bear Lake Court Case update

There will also be an opportunity for you to ask questions and provide comments.

Click here for more information about the North and East Metro GWMA.

The North and East Metro GWMA includes the Anoka County cities of Columbia Heights, Hilltop, Fridley, Spring Lake Park, Blaine, Lexington, Circle Pines, Lino Lakes, Centerville, and Columbus.

Mississippi Watershed Survey

Do you live in the Mississippi Watershed? The Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) wants to hear from you! The MWMO is beginning the process of updating its 10-year Watershed Management Plan and they need your input.

You can help the MWMO to better understand your concerns, priorities, and goals for the health of the watershed by answering just a few short questions.

Click this link to learn more and to take the survey!

New 4-H Environmental Clubs!

Minnesota Greencorps member Alyssa Armstrong has initiated Environmental Clubs at 3 Anoka County locations: Rum River Library, Springbrook Nature Center, and Wargo Nature Center.

“E-Clubs focus on environmental education and provide hands-on learning experiences that will engage youth in environmental activities. This will both connect them to nature and give them tools to make meaningful impacts in their community and the world.”

Topics will be shaped by the club’s interest, but may include recycling and composting, hiking/snowshoeing, nature writing and photography.

The Rum River Library club meets monthly on the 3rd Wednesday from 6-7:30 pm and one goal of this particular club is to create a rain garden in partnership with the Anoka Conservation District.

Contact Alyssa Armstrong or the meeting location you are interested in attending for more information!

Alyssa Armstrong,, 763-324-3495

Rum River Library, 763-324-1520, 4201 6th Ave, Anoka, MN 55303

Springbrook Nature Center, 763-572-3588, 100 85th Ave NW, Fridley, MN 55432

Wargo Nature Center, 763-324-3350, 7701 Main St, Lino Lakes, MN 55038

Lakeshore Stewardship Vital to Keeping Lakes Healthy

Submitted by Emily Johnson, Anoka Conservation District

Lakes are the pride and joy of Minnesotans, but the loss of their native aquatic and near shore lake vegetation as a result of increased lakeshore development is a grave threat. Both shoreline and aquatic plants are critical in maintaining a clean and healthy lake. Their loss results in severe negative consequences.

When aquatic vegetation is removed from a lake, it causes a chain reaction, resulting in murky water and loss of critical habitat for waterfowl and native fishes. Zooplankton rely on aquatic plants for food and safety. Without the refuge provided by these plants, they become easy prey for fish and their numbers dwindle. As a result, the algae normally eaten by zooplankton flourish. Algae get an extra boost from nutrients in loose sediment stirred up from the bottom of the lake. Since there’s no more roots to stabilize this sediment, it can easily be stirred up by waves and wind, creating cloudy water conditions. Native walleye and bass are driven out by undesirable fish such as carp that thrive in these dirty water conditions.

Native plant removal from lakeshores can have an equally negative impact. Native shoreline vegetation acts as a buffer, filtering polluted runoff and trapping excess nutrients before they enter the lake. Their roots hold the soil in place and prevent erosion and property loss. In addition to these water quality benefits, native plant buffers provide critical habitat for pollinators and other native wildlife, deter nuisance wildlife such as geese, and create an attractive privacy screen while leaving plenty of room for water access from a dock or beach.

Retaining or replacing natural shoreline and aquatic vegetation is critical to a lake’s health. Lakeshore owners have the power to make a difference on their shore through proper lakeshore restoration and stewardship. Doing this will improve lake water quality, which has a direct impact on property value, recreation opportunities, fisheries, and more.

To learn how to install your own lakeshore restoration project, visit:

UPDATE on Upcoming Well and Septic Class

Due to scheduling conflicts, the previously announced Well and Septic Class has been moved from Tuesday, March 10th to Thursday, March 12th. It has been updated on our original post and our calendar. Hope you can make it!

Referenced post:

March Well and Septic Maintenance Training

Save the date! Another opportunity for a well and septic maintenance training is coming up in March 2020!

Do you own your own well? How about a septic system? Do you wish you had a better idea of how to take care of them? Then you should plan on attending this upcoming class! Attendees with be provided a maintenance manual to keep. Refreshments and snacks will be provided.

In partnership with the City of Ramsey and the UMN Onsite Sewage Treatment Program, the Anoka Conservation District invites you to a free septic system and private well homeowner education class on Thursday, March 12th from 5 – 7 pm in the Ramsey City Hall’s Alexander Ramsey Room (7550 Sunwood Dr. NW, Ramsey, 55303). Space is limited, so reserve your seat early. Register online here!

Learn about:

  • Potential contaminants in your drinking water well
  • How and when to inspect and maintain your septic system
  • Impacts of faulty or damaged wells and septic systems

Please email Emily Johnson at or call her at 763-434-2030 x17 with any questions.

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