How much should we spend to fight aquatic invasive species?

There’s a debate in Minnesota over funding for aquatic invasive species programs.

Here’s how Minnesota compares to Wisconsin, a state that claims 15,000 lakes.  This is based on data from Department of Natural Resource budgets in each state.

New AIS funding

There are other funding sources that contribute to aquatic invasive species programs.

Since 2008, the Minnesota Legislative Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) has approved $19 million in spending on projects like carp control, treating ballast water in Lake Superior freighters and the development of an Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center at the University of Minnesota.

Local governments, volunteer groups and lake associations also spend money on invasive species in lakes and rivers.  The total is a difficult number to compile because of the wide variety of groups involved.

A Minnesota Coalition of Lake Associations survey determined that local governments and volunteer groups spent $5.2 million from 2010-2012 on a variety of aquatic invasive species projects.  That number is likely higher since many groups did not provide information for the survey.

If you add the DNR budgets, LCCMR funding and estimated local spending, that’s upwards of $54 million on aquatic invasive species in the past five years.

How much should Minnesota spend on the effort to control aquatic invasive species?  Who should pay?

Tell me if I’ve missed additional sources of funding.