SPRING PARK, Minn. - There's a new weapon in the fight against aquatic invasive species -- and it's made right here in Minnesota.
Hennepin County opened its first solar-powered boat cleaning station at the Spring Park public boat access on Lake Minnetonka.
The station is waterless and includes compressed air, a wet and dry vacuum, marine lights, and a series of low-tech, cable-tethered tools.
"We're using made in Minnesota parts, vendors, manufacturers, components because we want this to be a Minnesota story to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species nationally."
This pilot project aims to provide the tools needed by boaters -- 24-7-- at a cost that's similar to staffing an access with an inspector with limited hours. And because it's waterless and solar-powered, the cleaning station could be used in more areas.
You can find solar powered boat cleaning stations at Bryant Lake in Eden Prairie and Pike Lake in Saint Louis County, as well as North Arm on Lake Minnetonka.