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Garamendi, Amodei Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Stop the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species

October 25, 2021
Press Release
New Legislation Would Support Areas Like California’s Clear Lake and Lake Tahoe to Fight the Spread of Invasive Aquatic Species

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Congressmen John Garamendi (D-CA03) and Mark Amodei (R-NV03) introduced the “Stop the Spread of Invasive Mussels Act” (H.R.5692).

This bipartisan legislation would authorize federal land management agencies to take proven, commonsense measures to prevent the proliferation of invasive species in our nation’s waterways, lakes, reservoirs, and aqueducts.

Garamendi is a Representative of Lake County, California, which has seen its critically important tourist economy centered around Clear Lake threatened by invasive Quagga Mussels and other aquatic invasive species exacerbating the Lake’s harmful algal blooms. Garamendi has secured federal resources in recent years to help curb the presence of invasive species in Clear Lake, and the “Stop the Spread of Invasive Mussels Act” can provide key support in this ongoing effort.

“Invasive species crowd out native wildlife and incur billions of dollars in avoidable damage to our nation’s critical water infrastructure, particularly in western states like California,” Rep. Garamendi (D-CA) said. “In my Congressional District, proliferate Quagga and Zebra Mussels clog water pipelines, reduce the capacity of canals, and damage reservoir operations for hydropower, water storage, and flood control.

“The best defense against spreading invasive aquatic species is simple: inspection and decontaminating watercraft so they do not spread aquatic invasive species from one waterbody to another,” Garamendi continued.

“Our bipartisan ‘Stop the Spread of Invasive Mussels Act’ would ensure that federal land management agencies like the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service have the legal authority to conduct these inspections on federal land. In addition, our bill would establish a new U.S. Bureau of Reclamation grant program for inspection stations at federally managed reservoirs like those that comprise the Solano and Central Valley Projects,” Garamendi continued.

“Congress can and should take decisive action to limit the spread of aquatic invasive species, and that’s exactly what our bipartisan ‘Stop the Spread of Invasive Muscles Act’ will accomplish. I will continue working with my colleague representing the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe, Congressman Amodei, to ensure this bill becomes law,” Garamendi concluded.

“I am proud to join Congressman Garamendi in introducing the ‘Stop the Spread of Invasive Mussels Act’, which invests critical resources in building and operating additional invasive species inspection stations, while also allowing the Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management, and National Park Service to aid in these efforts. This legislation is a commonsense solution to empower our federal agencies to be responsible stewards of our lakes and waterways, which is vital to the preservation of Lake Tahoe," Rep. Amodei (R-NV) said.

According to California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife, invasive Quagga Mussels were first detected at an intake for the Colorado River Aqueduct in 2007, which supplies water for communities in southern California. Since then, the State of California has confirmed that all reservoirs, lakes, and watersheds receiving raw Colorado River water have been exposed to Quagga Mussels. The first confirmed find of Zebra mussels in California was in 2008, at the San Justo Reservoir in San Benito County, California.

The following organizations have endorsed the “Stop the Spread of Invasive Mussels Act” (H.R.5692): Western Governors' Association, National Wildlife Federation, National Marine Manufacturers Association, American Sportfishing Association, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies

The full text of the “Stop the Spread of Invasive Mussels Act” can be viewed here.