We are being invaded by land and by sea with invasive species! The battleground is all around us and it’s hard to fight them all off. At times like these, we need a superhero to put his foot down and holler “Stop!”

That superhero is coming to Goodhue County as its newly designated stopper: A giant boat drain-plug named “Doug the Plug!”

“Doug the Plug” deserves a hug because he is spreading the message about how to stop aquatic invasive species. Every boater should know that it is illegal to keep your boat’s drain plug inserted when your boat’s not in the water. “Doug the Plug” is a giant reminder to remove your drain plugs after you land your boat.

“Doug the Plug” was the “brain-child” of a team of Goodhue County employees tasked by the state and funded through Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Aid. Their job was to address the statewide threat from foreign fish, bugs, mussels, and plants. All of those troublemakers can hitch-hike on or in your boat, including your live-well.

As “Doug the Plug” is eager to point out, we need to: “Pull the plug on invasive species.”

It’s a big message from a big mascot. In many ways, “Doug the Plug” is following in the footsteps of “Rubin the Blue Bin,” who has become an iconic local reminder to recycle. Much like Rubin, he was designed and manufactured in Toronto with an equally important environmental message.

Please welcome “Doug the Plug” at the River City Days Parade on Aug. 4.

And remember: You too can be a clean water superhero, when you pull your plug on invasive species.