The Province of British Columbia announced on March 31 measures to improve its resistance to invasive mussels with a $1.3-million investment in early detection and rapid response.

Thus far, the province has not encountered any instances of invasive species infiltration, and it hopes the newly announced program will further bolster its defences against species like quagga and zebra mussels.

A cluster of zebra mussels. Credit: D. Jude, Univ. of Michigan.
A cluster of zebra mussels. Credit: D. Jude, Univ. of Michigan.

The new program includes three mobile decontamination units; six trained auxiliary conservation officers; province-wide highway signage; expanded zebra and quagga mussel monitoring; Report All Poachers or Polluters response line coverage; and increasing “Clean, Drain, Dry” education and outreach activities.

“This is a major step in our ongoing efforts to keep the provinces’ ecosystems, hydro stations, drinking water facilities and salmon population safe,” said Environment Minister Mary Polak. “It also provides specialized training and summer employment to university students specializing in environmental compliance.”

Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick added, “Invasive mussels pose a threat to our agricultural producers who rely on effective irrigation systems, and so this program is very important to minimize potential financial risk.”

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