Oneida County welcomes full-time AIS Coordinator to staff
Michele Sadauskas has been hired as the full-time Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Coordinator for Oneida County.
Last November, Oneida County approved a full-time AIS Coordinator position, and Sadauskas is excited to have the opportunity to fill the full-time position. Sadauskas has been filling the role of AIS Coordinator as limited-term employee since May of 2011. The AIS Coordinator works closely with local lake groups, state and federal entities, and private citizens to combat the spread of AIS in Oneida County.
“I am thrilled to continue building a strong, exciting, and visible AIS program in Oneida County,” said Sadauskas, “Great new projects and partnerships have developed over the last nine months of my employment, and I am excited to participate in their continuing development.”
The Oneida County Land & Water Department’s AIS program is centered on educational outreach, technical assistance, and management of AIS in Oneida County. In October of 2011, the AIS program received a $45,705 DNR AIS Control Grant. This grant will allow Oneida County to hire three LTE project assistants, perform educational outreach to private landings and nearby lodging facilities, distribute recycled grocery bags, and allow the Oneida County AIS team to increase on-water monitoring of AIS. New projects such as a student AIS photo/poster contest, Manson Lake Education Project, and a research project to determine the population densities of a native weevil bio-control for Eurasian water-milfoil will be on the agenda for summer 2012.
“We realize that the native weevil, Euhrychiopsis lecontei, feeds on the invasive Eurasian water-milfoil (EWM), but no one knows the distribution and density levels of this weevil in our Oneida County lakes,” Sadauskas said. “We hope our AIS team can help locate this weevil, and monitor its success as a bio-control for EWM.”
The Oneida County AIS coordinator and program are housed in the Oneida County UW-Extension office in the lower level of the Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport. Together with the Oneida County Land and Water Conservation Department, these programs provide conservation support to local landowners, residents, and groups concerned about restoring and preserving the county’s natural resources. Sadauskas urges residents to “be aware of your surroundings when out on our waterways, and to call if you see any suspicious plants.”
For more information about the Oneida County AIS program, its projects, or AIS concerns, call Sadauskas at (715) 365-2750, or email [email protected].