Thursday May 23, 2024

Richmond News

The province announced $150,000 in funding for its Invasive Mussel Defence Program after quagga mussels — an invasive species that has decimated eastern waterways in recent years — were found in the Snake River, a large tributary to the Columbia River, last fall. Money for the program is being contributed by the Columbia Basin Trust, BC Wildlife Federation and the Pacific Salmon Foundation. BC Hydro has also committed $900,000 a year for the next five years.

Because the effects of mussel infestations are broad, long-lasting, and expensive to mitigate, prevention is crucial, sources told The Goat.

“At a local level, it can be quite devastating from both an environmental and economic perspective,” said Johnny Strilaeff, president and CEO of the Columbia Basin Trust. “[Quagga mussels] like to attach themselves to physical structures, so you can imagine a community’s water system becoming fouled with these tiny little mussels […] and all the effort and cost that would be required to remove them so the water system can continue to operate.”

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