Aquatic invasive species are a threat to the ecology and the recreational and economic viability of Minnesota’s water resources. When an invasion is confined to a distinct lake or wetland, local government units will implement localized plans to address invasions. However, when a water body crosses jurisdictions, such as with river systems, to be effective a more coordinated, regional approach is necessary that is more attuned with the natural pathways for invasive species.
Excess nutrients are among the most common impairments of water resources in the Red River Basin, as well as the rest of Minnesota. About 80% of the land use in the Red River Basin is for agricultural cropland and over 90% of phosphorus and nitrogen found in rivers and streams in the area originate from nonpoint sources, such as cropland. Excess nutrients are also one of the most difficult impairments to correct.