MINNETONKA, Minn.--(Save-Our-Lakes nonprofit organization plans to deliver a blow to aquatic invasive species in a 1-2 punch. That is, by punching up the funds that help fuel the recently created Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center and the Conservation Minnesota organization.)--The
“We are eager to work hard to preserve our waterways.”
The center, which is part of the University of Minnesota, conducts research to help control and manage the spread of invasive species. Conservation Minnesota represents hundreds of lake associations, river groups and their members working for public policies and best practices that protect Minnesota’s rivers, lakes and great outdoors.
“We wanted to support respected, strong organizations that focused on research, prevention, management and cures to preserve our lakes and rivers,” said Jason Landstrom, a founder of Save-Our-Lakes. “Conservation Minnesota and the university’s center share our deep passion for protecting natural resources, and offered the expertise and infrastructure to make a difference.”
Aquatic invasive species include nonnative plants, animals and pathogens that live primarily in water and thrive in a new environment. They adversely affect the habitat and bioregion they invade, causing economic, environmental and ecological damage.
"Invasive species are a serious threat to our lakes, rivers and economy,” said Paul Austin, executive director of Conservation Minnesota. “We are eager to work with Save-Our-Lakes to protect our state's most cherished natural resources and our Minnesota way of life."
Landstrom, a Minnetonka High School alum founded Save-Our-Lakes with fellow alum Chad Mayes, and Ryan Johnson, all of the Twin Cities, to raise awareness and funds to help eradicate invasive species. The trio created Tonka Beer Company as a way to funnel funds to the nonprofit and save Minnesota’s lakes and rivers. All profits from sales of Tonka Beer Co.’s Big Island Shandy™ and Preservation IPA™ beers and memorabilia gear (available at tonkabeer.com) go to the organization.
“The most important goal for us is to help preserve our lakes and rivers so generation after generation of Minnesotans can enjoy them,” Landstrom said. “I like beer and so do many Minnesotans. Craft beer is a growing industry and we believe linking this to an important cause is a winning combination. It's a new way to approach the business – it’s a win-win.”
That win-win now extends to Conservation Minnesota and the University of Minnesota research center.
“We're here because Minnesotans value their lakes and rivers and want to keep them healthy for future generations, and so is Save-Our-Lakes,” said Peter Sorensen, scientific director of the center. “We are eager to work hard to preserve our waterways."
Beer for better
Preservation IPA, released in late August, is now available at participating liquor stores and restaurants throughout Minnesota. Preservation IPA offers a full malt flavor, light body and fresh hoppy bite. The golden India pale ale joins Tonka Beer Co.’s first beer – its popular unfiltered premium ale, Big Island Shandy, which debuted in May – in the fight against invasive species.
Through private donations and corporate partnerships, the nonprofit Save-Our-Lakes™ raises awareness and funds initiatives to save our lakes from invasive species. Currently, Save-Our-Lakes is partnering with Minnesota-based Tonka Beer Company, which donates 100 percent of profits from its beer sales to fund lake-saving efforts throughout Minnesota.
Conservation Minnesota is a 501C3 charity, focused on solving the issues that are most important to Minnesotans. Conservation Minnesota represents hundreds of local lake associations, river groups and their members who are leading the fight to protect our rivers and 10,000 lakes from pollution and invasive species.
About Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center
The Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center, part of the University of Minnesota, will conduct research on the biology and ecology of the aquatic invasive species that threaten Minnesota’s aquatic ecosystems to identify key weaknesses in their life histories that can then be applied to their control. This information will be collected and shared with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources as well government and citizen groups, which will function as collaborators.