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Meet Molly Bodde: New-yet-familiar face joins the ongoing fight against aquatic invasive species

Molly Bodde (right) is pictured with Samantha Lammers of the Wisconsin DNR (left) at a waterfowl hunter outreach day.

Earlier this fall, Molly Bodde joined Sea Grant as the aquatic invasive species (AIS) coordinator for southeast Wisconsin. (She’s pictured below, at right, along with Samantha Lammers of the Wisconsin DNR, at a waterfowl hunter outreach day.)

Molly works closely with Sea Grant AIS Outreach Specialist Tim Campbell to connect Kenosha, Racine, Milwaukee and Ozaukee counties with DNR, University of Wisconsin Extension and Wisconsin Sea Grant AIS programs and resources.

Said Tim, “To my knowledge, southeast Wisconsin has never has a local aquatic invasive species coordinator who focused on connecting local stakeholders with statewide AIS programs like Clean Boats, Clean Waters and the DNR’s surface water grants program. The amount of Lake Michigan coastline, combined with the inland lakes in Kenosha and Racine counties and 20 percent of the state’s population [residing there], means there is a lot of opportunity to build capacity for AIS prevention programs.”

While Molly may be new in this half-time position, based in Bristol at the UW-Extension Office in the Kenosha County Center, she’s not new to Sea Grant or AIS prevention work.

This past summer, Molly was one of several watercraft inspectors for the Clean Boats, Clean Waters program, interacting with members of the public to help them take the preventative steps required by state law to reduce the likelihood of transporting unwanted “hitchhikers” from one body of water to another.

Now, Molly will balance her new duties with pursuing a master’s degree in sustainable management through UW-Extension, which she plans to complete next December.

As the southeast Wisconsin AIS coordinator, she will likely spend about 20 percent of her work time in the office in Bristol, and the remaining 80 percent in the field, working with organizations like lake associations to combat the AIS problem. “I’ll also be extending the reach of the Habitattitude campaign, which will initially include attending a few trade shows,” said Molly.

Said Tim, “Molly is knowledgeable, hardworking, and outgoing–all things that will help her engage with water users and grow aquatic invasive species programs in her part of the state.”

Although graduate studies and work keep her plenty busy, Molly, who is originally from Kaukauna, likes to unwind by home brewing, baking and rehabbing old furniture. Her latest accomplishment: mastering French macarons.

Welcome, Molly, to your new role!

(Post originally published Dec. 4, 2018)

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