The Plant Problem at Bde Maka Ska

Minneapolis, MN, United States
Est. 3.8km / 1 hr 14 mins / Map

The Plant Problem at Bde Maka Ska - Cya On The Road

Eurasian watermilfoil is a prevalent aquatic invasive species that is abundant in lakes across the state of Minnesota and other parts of the United States; however, many people may be unaware of its disastrous effects. While the introduction of non-native plants to a new lake might seem trivial and not worth much attention, did you know that these plants can have economic impacts, disrupt ecosystems, effect recreation, and diminish aesthetic values?            Today, we are visiting Bde Maka Ska, which is classified as infested with Eurasian watermilfoil. Bde Maka Ska is the largest lake in Minneapolis. It has a long, rich history and continuing popularity today. For hundreds of years, the Dakota people inhabited the land around the lake. In the late 1800s, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board was created, which eventually acquired the whole lake in 1908. At some point during the early 1900s, Eurasian watermilfoil was introduced to the lake. The water quality of the Chain of Lakes, of which Bde Maka Ska is a part of, became a rising concern in the 1970s. In response to this, the city has since enacted an aquatic plant harvesting program that runs for most of the summer, aimed at the Eurasian watermilfoil that is now found throughout the lake.            Anyone who has visited the Chain of Lakes during the summer will likely be familiar with the big blue machines that can be seen out in the middle of the lakes almost every day, including Bde Maka Ska. These mechanical plant harvesters cut off approximately the top six feet of plants in the water within the harvester’s boundaries in the lake. This is currently the best-known solution for adapting to Eurasian watermilfoil in our lakes. Mechanical harvesting is widely used throughout the Midwest and Northeast, with the best results being seen when there are multiple harvests throughout the season, which the MPRB accomplishes. To better understand this topic, let’s have a look around the lake!

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