Premier Christy Clark announced a $2 million enhancement to BC’s mussel defence program that protects BC’s freshwater ecosystems from invasive species of mussels.

New mussel inspection station opens near Castlegar

As of April 1, Castlegar is home to a new permanent invasive mussel inspection station.

As of April 1, Castlegar is home to a new permanent invasive mussel inspection station.

Last week Premier Christy Clark announced a $2 million boost to the province’s invasive mussel defence program to fund eight new permanent mussel inspection stations installed at major entry points along BC’s borders.

Five inspection stations are setup along the BC-Alberta border and the other three are setup along the BC-US border. Five of the stations are in the Columbia Basin, located near Castlegar, Golden, Radium, Sparwood and Valemount.

Funding for the new stations is being provided through BC Hydro, FortisBC, Columbia Power and the Columbia Basin Trust, with the province making in kind contributions with staff, equipment and office space.

There will be a total of 32 conservation officers working the stations, which will be open 10 hours a day, seven days a week from now until October. This is an increase of 20 crew members from last year’s pilot project. Expansion of the program also includes increased highway signage at the station locations, expanded monitoring for quagga and zebra mussels, expanded Report All Poachers or Polluters (RAPP) response line coverage, and increased education and outreach activities.

Quagga and zebra mussels are a threat to BC’s aquatic ecosystems, salmon populations, hydro power stations and other infrastructure. The mussels can clog pipes, displace native aquatic plants and wildlife, degrade the environment and affect drinking water quality.

“It’s a very significant threat for us, because we know that if they get a foothold in British Columbia, they become established in our waters and our waterways, it could cost us millions of dollars,” Clark said at the announcement. “We estimate $43 million every year in economic impact. So we’ve started with our preventative approach.”

Last year’s pilot project caught 34 watercraft in need of decontamination, 15 of which were confirmed to be transporting invasive mussels or their larvae. Six of those were issued a 30-day quarantine order due to risk of live mussels.

Anyone aware of boats or equipment that may be contaminated should contact the RAPP hotline at 1-877-952-7277.

 

Just Posted

Third cannabis store in Greater Trail opens next week

The City of Trail has had six applications from non-medical pot retailers to date

Last stop: The inside story of Queen City Shuttle and Charters’ closure

Former employees open up about the Nelson company’s final days

How the Queen City Shuttle and Charters’ closure affected you

Here’s what readers had to say about the company’s shutdown

Craft cannabis development planned for Castlegar

Plans are underway for one of the first craft cannabis industrial parks in the province.

Annual Columbia Basin Culture tour coming up Aug 10 and 11

There are locations across the region participating

Feds lowered poverty line, reducing the number of seniors in need: documents

Liberals introduced a poverty line that was below the prior low-income cutoff

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

“Does Kirby care?” B.C. First Nation’s group using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

West Kootenay U16 Rebels take home provincial gold

West Kootenay Rebels fastball team battle hard to win the BC U16C Fastball Championship

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Most Read