The propellor of a motorized boat encrusted with invasive mussels. Zebra and Quagga mussels can thrive in tiny crevices and even inside outboard motors, meaning very thorough cleaning is required to prevent their spread. (Image credit: CSISS)

LETTER: Urgent action needed to protect B.C. fresh water from invasive species

If we miss one boat, we will have allowed a permanent and devastating change to B.C.’s fresh water

To Minister Heyman:

It was a pleasure to meet your assistant deputy ministers Aug. 22 regarding the imminent threat that zebra and quagga mussels pose to B.C.’s freshwater ecology, native fish species, infrastructure, economy, tourism, beach quality, water quality, property values, hydro dams, drinking water, and all forms of freshwater recreation.

Your assistant deputy ministers agreed that, despite the boat inspection program in place, we are not at 100 per cent protection. Far from it, in fact. Without 24-hour stations at Dawson Creek, Mt. Robson, Radium and Crowsnest, it is a mathematical inevitability that a mussel-infested boat will enter B.C. during the night and will infest B.C..

Related: False alarm for invasive mussels found on boat at Osoyoos border

As your assistant deputy ministers explained, leaving those four inter-provincial border crossings unmonitored at night is a calculated risk. That is not acceptable. The risk is far too great.

You have a successful 24-hour station at Golden. There is no reason it can’t be replicated at the other four locations.

The primary obstacle is money, so I have put forward three ideas: a new $5 fee attached to the BC fishing licence, a new mandatory boater registration process with a $10 fee, or a $3 yearly surcharge for BC Hydro customers.

Some people will be slightly annoyed to have to pay these fees, but once they understand the need, they will gladly part with some pocket change to protect where they play, and protect B.C.

There is a clear way forward here, and I can see no reason to not take it, with all haste. Let’s close the gaps. Isn’t B.C. worth it?

Brynne Morrice


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

UPDATED: Empty Vernon playbox re-stocked by anonymous donor

North Okanagan Optimist Club’s donated playbox at Lakeview Park had everything removed

Coldstream rainbow crosswalk defaced

Vandals cover colours with white paint sometime overnight Saturday

Okanagan-Shuswap Weather: Summer sun for Sunday

The forecast for the week ahead shows some rain but plenty of sun and warm tempertures.

Dragon boats help fundbreast cancer treatment at Vernon hospital

The Dragon Boat Festival at Swan Lake on July 13 raised $2,020 for VJHF

Our History In Pictures

Band entertains crowd at downtown Vernon Eaton’s in 1960

When walls talk: Vernon murals see generation II

“This new movement, an app, will bring the strength of some of those same Vernon visionaries together again into a newdigital form”

Water quality makes swimming unsafe at three beaches near Salmon Arm

The Adams Lake Indian Band has issued a water qulity notice affecting beaches at three campgrounds.

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Second osprey chick dies, Okanagan web cam off

The second chick in an osprey nest featured on the Town of Osoyoos website has died

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

Fire department helps with body recovery in Okanagan Lake

Penticton fire department assisted the RCMP with the recovery of a body Saturday

Police on scene at Penticton beach

RCMP were at a what is believed to be a crime scene near Skaha Beach Sunday

Community service ordered for Princeton man who stole from firefighters

A young man who stole food and money from the Princeton Volunteer… Continue reading

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Most Read