For immediate release - May 1, 2020: Ten years ago, the cost of invasive species to Canada was between $16 and $34 billion per year. That figure is likely much higher today. Next to habitat destruction and fragmentation, invasive species are the biggest known threat to native biodiversity.
It is estimated that the introduction of two aquatic invasive species, zebra and quagga mussels, would alone cost B.C. $43 million per year in damages to infrastructure and recreation. The invasion of these mussels in the Great Lakes came with substantial costs. Their rapid expansion reduced the available food for native species and clogged pipes used for irrigation and hydropower. Now, the risk of invasive mussels causing similar damage in B.C. is prompting people to act.
Anglers, boaters, kayakers and all other water recreationalists, can help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species into B.C. from other provinces, territories or states by following the simple steps of Clean Drain Dry:
- Clean plants, animals and mud from your boat and gear.
- Drain all water from your boat and gear onto land and don’t forget to pull the plugs.
- Dry all parts of your boat and gear completely.
It is important to know that Clean Drain Dry cannot always prevent the spread of all aquatic invasive species. Zebra and quagga mussels require extra attention. These invasive mussels are tiny – about the size of your fingernail when fully grown and are microscopic as larvae – meaning they can be very hard to spot. They can attach to the hard surfaces of boats and trailers and can live within standing water such as that found within ballast tanks and live wells.
To prevent the introduction and spread of these aquatic hitchhikers into the province, the Government of B.C. has initiated extra preventative measures. If you are transporting a watercraft in B.C. it is mandatory to stop and report to all watercraft inspection stations along your travel route. Watercrafts include sailboats, motorboats, car toppers, kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards.
If you're bringing your boat from out-of-province, contact the Provincial Program at COS.Aquatic.Invasive.Species@gov.bc.ca to determine if your boat is considered high-risk and should be decontaminated for possible zebra or quagga mussel presence before accessing B.C.’s waterways. Do not launch the boat into any B.C. waters until you have either been inspected or received instruction from a B.C. Provincial Aquatic Invasive Species Inspector.
Help us keep B.C. waterways clear of zebra and quagga mussels. Report suspected contaminated boats carrying invasive mussels that may be travelling from out-of-Province to the RAPP line (1-877-952-7277).
For more Information on the B.C. Invasive Mussel Defence Program, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/invasive-mussels/bringing-your-boat-to-bc and to learn more about B.C.’s Clean Drain Dry program visit: CleanDrainDry.ca.
About the Clean Drain Dry program in B.C.:
The Canadian Council on Invasive Species is pleased to work in partnership with the Invasive Species Council of BC and funding from Fisheries and Oceans Canada in launching the Clean Drain Dry program in BC, as the foundation for a national program. The project aims to encourage boaters and aquatic recreationists, who play a critical role in protecting local watersheds from invasive species, to Clean, Drain, and Dry all boats and equipment. Over a three-year pilot term, resources, signage and a social and digital media campaign will be implemented to shift the behaviour of boaters and aquatic recreationists to encourage the practice of Clean, Drain and Dry.
About the Invasive Species Council of B.C.: ISCBC is dedicated to keeping our landscapes and communities free of invasive species. It provides a coordinated, province-wide approach to reducing the impact of invasive species in B.C. ISCBC unites efforts across the province and collaborates with a variety of partners to develop unique solutions for the wide variety of ecosystems across B.C.
About the Canadian Council on Invasive Species:
The Canadian Council on Invasive Species works collaboratively across jurisdictional boundaries to support actions and information that can help reduce the threat and impacts of invasive species. Invasive species councils, committees, and coalitions representing provinces and territories across Canada worked together to establish this federal society to work together to reduce the impact of invasive species across the country.
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