An Okanagan group feels it’s time the federal government got on board the effort to keep invasive mussels out of BC lakes.
Tracy Gray from the Okanagan Basin Water Board says their delegates will meet with the Fisheries and Oceans Minister June 1 in Ottawa.
She says funding for prevention will be one request, along with enhanced border inspections.
“It’s really not a priority for them at the border crossings, and we’ve heard it’s not consistently being applied, so boats coming up from the US are a huge concern,” Gray tells Kiss FM.
There is added concern about US boats after invasive mussels were recently found in waters in Montana.
Gray says the province has got on board — but Ottawa has been slow to follow suit.
“To this point, they have sounded supportive, but we’ve really see little action, so what we’re trying to do is gain exposure and elevate the importance of this.”
Gray, Vernon councillor Juliette Cunningham and two other board members will meet with Minister LeBlanc during the Federation of Canadian Municipalities meeting in the nation’s capital.
A study by the board suggested an infestation by zebra and quagga mussels into Okanagan Lake would cost 43 million dollars a year in economic loss and direct costs to repair infrastructure.
“So this is very serious for us, and we want to be able to have our grand children walking on beaches, just like we were,” adds Gray.