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Bill To Fight Invasive Species Moves Forward

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo

Congressional representatives Garamendi, D-Calf., and Amodei, R-Nev., have been pushing the bipartisan “Stop the Spread of Invasive Mussels Act” since last year. The bill recently advanced out of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

The bipartisan “Stop the Spread of Invasive Mussels Act,” which was introduced last October, recently advanced out of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Introduced by congressional representatives John Garamendi, D-Calif., and Mark Amodei, R-Nev., the legislation would authorize federal land management agencies to take measures to prevent the proliferation of invasive species in our nation’s waterways, lakes, reservoirs and aqueducts. The provisions in the bill are included in the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2022.

“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,” Garamendi said in a statement. “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.”

The National Marine Manufacturers Association reports that the annual cost to the United States from aquatic invasive species is approximately $120 billion, though the federal government allocates only $100 million each year to battle invasives across key U.S. regions and waterways.

The marine industry last week focused its efforts on educating policymakers, boat and trailer manufacturers, and the boating community on what they can do to help stop and reverse the spread of aquatic invasive species.

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