Zebra Mussels Confirmed in Ramsey County Lakes

Zebra mussel held between fingers show size. © MN DNR

In response to a discovery by alert St. Paul Regional Water Services (SPRWS) staff late last week, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has confirmed the presence of zebra mussels in Vadnais, Sucker and Pleasant lakes in Ramsey County. The lakes are part of a system of reservoirs that provide drinking water for about 417,000 people in St. Paul and eight surrounding communities.

During routine maintenance at the Vadnais Lake water intake facility, SPRWS staff found multiple zebra mussels attached to walls inside the water intake. After confirming identification of the specimens, DNR biologists searched waters upstream of Vadnais Lake and found small zebra mussels attached to rocks and wood on the northern end of Sucker Lake, and in the canal between Sucker and Vadnais lakes. Finding zebra mussels in the canals that flow from Pleasant to Sucker Lake suggests that zebra mussels entered from Pleasant Lake. All three lakes now are considered infested with this invasive species. DNR is determining what connected lakes also may be infested and what actions are needed to prevent further spread of zebra mussels from the infested lakes Zebra mussels may have entered the chain of lakes via water pumped from the Mississippi River as part of the St. Paul Regional Water Supply system, or by way of recreational activities such as angling or boating.

Zebra mussels can have a significant impact on a lake’s ecosystem. They can foul beaches, interfere with food chains and smother native mussels. Zebra mussels also can clog intakes of public water supplies.

The discovery was unwelcome news for both DNR and SPRWS staff. The DNR informed SPRWS as soon as zebra mussels were discovered in the upper Mississippi River. Over the past two years, the two agencies have worked together to address the potential zebra mussel threat. SPRWS has treated the water pumped from the river during the past two years in an attempt to prevent movement of free-floating zebra mussel larvae, and has been working to examine operational changes that could prevent movement of all invasive species in their operations.

The presence of this invasive species in the water supply system of St. Paul creates new challenges for the environment as well as the managers and engineers of SPRWS. However, the low numbers found suggest that this discovery came at the beginning of the infestation.

Other Great Lakes area water utilities have been dealing with this problem for a number of years and have developed proven techniques for dealing with it. Presence of the mussels will not impact drinking water quality.

Walker Bay® Boats Wins the NMMA Innovation Award for the Airis Kayak in Miami
The Lightest, Most Compact High-Pressure Inflatable Kayak in the World

Walker Bay® Boats Inc. is proud to announce that it has once again won the Innovation Award organized by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and judged by Boating Writers International (BWI) at the 67th Annual Miami International Boat Show, this time for the Airis Inflatable Kayak. “We are thrilled to be recognized by our peers as the recipient of this prestigious award,” said Stefano Rista, Product Development Manager. “Innovation is the corner stone of Walker Bay and we are always seeking new ways to improve upon concepts and find ways to get more people out on the water having fun.” Airis was the winner of the Inflatables, Small Boats Up to 15' and Tenders category.

Airis Inflatable Kayaks are made using AirWeb™ High Pressure Construction (patent pending), formed from a heavy duty seven layer polymer coated fabric that is joined inside by thousands of drop-stitch fibers, much like an elaborate web. AirWeb Construction allows the kayak to be inflated to more than 6.5 PSI or 0.45 bar, resulting in a rigid and stable hull that is lightweight yet compact enough to be carried in a backpack (included). Judge Trulio commented that, “This construction method has produced the most portable kayak I’ve ever seen.”

Winning companies received their 2008 Miami Innovation Awards during the Miami Media Breakfast, held Thursday, February 14 at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The Innovation Awards, organized by NMMA and judged by BWI, recognize products that best meet the following criteria: innovative distinction from other products currently being manufactured; benefit to the marine industry and/or consumer; practicality; cost-effectiveness; and availability to the consumer within 60 days of receiving the award.

“This year, a total of 50 products were entered in eight different categories,” said Zuzana Prochazka, Miami Innovation Awards chair and member of the BWI Board of Directors. “There were some exceptional entries this year, and it made the judging process a challenge. We not only had winners in every category for which we received entries, but determined several additional products worth ‘Honorable Mentions.’ We also gave out an Environmental Award for a grand total of nine awards.”

In addition to Prochazka, BWI members rounding out the judging panel include: Jim Barron, technical editor and writer, Trailer Boats magazine; Ben Ellison, electronics editor of Power & Motoryacht and SAIL magazines and author of the electronics blog Panbo.com; Jan Mundy, co-founder and editor of DIY Boat Owner magazine; Lenny Rudow, freelance writer, author and boating editor of Texas Fish & Game magazine; Matt Trulio, editor-at-large of Powerboat magazine and powerboat editor for boats.com; and John Wooldridge, executive editor of PassageMaker magazine.

About Walker Bay Boats

For over 10 years, Walker Bay® has redefined the benchmark for small boats. Manufacturing an award wining line of exceptionally crafted motorboats, sailboats, rowboats, RIBs, inflatable air deck rollups, and inflatable kayaks, Walker Bay® continues to push the boundaries of innovation with boats that are durable, versatile, practical and easy to use. With over 60,000 boats in use, Walker Bay® is available in over 50 countries around the world and can be found on the web at www.walkerbay.com or www. airiskayaks.com.
About NMMA

National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is the leading association representing the recreational boating industry. The association is dedicated to industry growth through programs in public policy, market research and data, product quality assurance and marketing communications.

Interlux® Launches New Program Making $60,000 In Grants Available To Groups To Enhance Their Waterfronts

Interlux announced today that it would be awarding $60,000 in grants at the Miami International Boat Show in February 2009. Eight grants from $5,000 to $25,000 will be awarded to organizations to create sustainable waterfront environmental improvements in their communities.

At a press reception in Miami today, Bob Donat, Vice President of Marketing for Interlux said “We are excited about launching a program that empowers the boating community to preserve the one thing we have in common - water. The health of our bays, streams, lakes and oceans is vital to the future of boating. The Waterfront Challenge is a real opportunity for everyone to make a difference.”

To apply, join The Waterfront Challenge. Applications are now being accepted at www.wfchallenge.com and organizations have from April 1, 2008 to November 5, 2008 to apply. Judging will take place from November 12, 2008 to January 4, 2009, with grant awards being made in Miami in February 2009.

Judges, criteria, and basic ground rules are available at www.wfchallenge.com or contact Douglas Bernon, PhD, at The Waterfront Challenge. Phone: (401) 855-2351 or E-mail: info@wfchallenge.com.

Interlux Yacht Finishes is the leading supplier of high performance marine coatings and forms part of Netherlands-based Akzo Nobel, the world’s largest supplier of industrial coatings.



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