Water Board Wants More From Feds Against Mussels

Beach Radio Vernon – August 17, 2018

The Okanagan Basin Water Board says it’s good news the federal government is putting more money towards keeping invasive mussels out of BC waters.

But it’s also sending the government a prioritized list for more action and a request for an in-person meeting.

Ottawa recently announced $133,000 annually over three years for public outreach and education, and $25,000 annually over four years for research.

In a letter sent yesterday to new Fisheries and Oceans Minister,Jonathan Wilkinson, the Water Board reiterated a call for more funding with a total request for annual federal funding is $2,055,000, matching provincial funding.

Water Board Chair Tracy Gray says the Board is gravely concerned about the impact zebra and quagga mussels would have on the Okanagan and Western Canada.

“We need the federal government to take stronger action and help reinforce our defenses and contain these mussels where they are at, and work with Western provinces, states, and the U.S. government to protect our waters. We do not want to be in a situation, like we’ve heard from officials in Manitoba and elsewhere, where we are infested with zebra or quagga mussels and regret not doing more to prevent it.”

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