California adds invasive-species prevention fee

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California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that will levy a quagga and zebra mussel infestation prevention fee on state vessel registrations.

The funds from the registration fee will go toward a grant program for the implementation and administration of dreissenid mussel infestation, inspection and prevention programs, according to the Recreational Boaters of California.

The group lobbied at the state Capitol as the bill (AB 2443) was considered, urging that it be revised to address several concerns.

“RBOC appreciates the revisions made to the bill, including provisions ensuring a critical role for the Department of Boating and Waterways in administering the expenditure of boater funds to be generated by boater fees,” the RBOC said in a statement.

The group said it will continue to be involved as the new law is implemented.

“It is important to RBOC that boaters be well-represented on the technical advisory group that will be formed, that fees are not levied on boaters whose activities do not present a risk of invasive species being introduced or spread, that boaters do not pay twice for the same programs, that decisions on the amount and use of boater fees are made in an open, transparent process and that the fees be utilized in an efficient and effective manner,” the group said.

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