Congressman Garamendi Cosponsors Bipartisan Bill Adding Quagga Mussels to National Invasive Species List
WALNUT GROVE, CA – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA), who represents Lake County along with Congressman Mike Thompson, has cosponsored H.R. 1823, the Protecting Lakes Against Quagga (PLAQ) Act of 2013, which would add quagga mussels to the national list of invasive species. This listing gives federal agencies greater ability to prevent the spread of these invasive species.
“An invasive quagga mussel infestation in Clear Lake could have serious impacts on the economy and environment in Lake County. Not only do they damage recreational boating equipment, but they can also make the shoreline along Clear Lake dangerous to walk on with incredibly sharp shells. They can also severely impact water deliveries for the region by clogging key water pipes and driving up maintenance and operations costs for local water agencies,” said Congressman Garamendi. “I’m a cosponsor of this bipartisan legislation, because Lake County residents deserve to be protected from these harmful invasive species.”
The most common way for quagga mussels to spread from one body of water to another is by “hitchhiking” on recreational boating equipment. Nationally, listing quagga mussels as an invasive species will give federal agencies more authority to inspect boats crossing state lines or entering federal lands.
While the spread of invasive quaggga mussels can only occur from “hitchhiking” on boats and other recreational equipment, once they have become established in a lake they can quickly multiply and become extremely expensive to remove.
Since their domestic invasion in the 1980’s, quagga mussels, and their close relative zebra mussels, have cost more than $5 billion in prevention and control – more than any other invasive aquatic species. While zebra mussels are on the invasive species list, quagga mussels are not.