Funding to help address quagga and zebra mussels

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen will receive grant funding to further outreach education

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen will receive grant funding to provide continued support of the Okanagan Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program addressing quagga and zebra mussels.

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Blue Water Project Grant Program will present the RDOS with a $10,000 cheque on Wednesday so the Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society (OASISS) can utilize the funds to further their ongoing outreach education.

The RBC Blue Water Project Grant provided funding to the regional district and OASISS in 2015 to create a unique, interactive, mobile educational trailer on the Quagga and Zebra Mussels.

Related: Invasive mussels pushing their way to B.C.

The trailer and OASISS staff travel region-wide throughout the summer to local events, beaches and marinas spreading the prevention message.

“Having these additional funds to continue the interaction with all water users in the valley is vitally important” said Lisa Scott, program manager of OASISS. “This grant will help insure the trailer and prevention messaging keeps rolling.”

The introduction and invasion of Quagga and Zebra Mussels to bodies of water in the United States, eastern Canada and most recently in Montana has been devastating and costly.

Related: Water board wants mussel funding in budget

As these mussels reproduce, they degrade aquatic ecosystems to the point of collapse; cover infrastructure which hampers hydro power generation and a water purveyor’s ability to supply water to residents. The mussels infest beaches, cover boats and propellers, and foul bilges with layers of mussels and negatively affect tourism and community enjoyment; and cause a timely and costly imposition to boaters and recreational users by coating boats, propellers and foul bilges with layers of mussels and their carcasses.

Mussel Threat – Protecting BC's Freshwater from Protect Our Freshwater on Vimeo.