California State Parks’ Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) has announced the availability of grant funding to prevent the further spread of quagga and zebra mussels into California’s waterways. Funded by the California Boater Mussel Fee Sticker (popularly known as the Quagga sticker), the Quagga and Zebra Mussel Infestation program expects to award up to $3 million to eligible applicants. Applications will be accepted from April 10 through May 19, 2023.
Quagga and zebra (Dreissenid) mussels pose a serious threat to California’s waters and fisheries. The spread of these freshwater mussels threatens recreational boating and fishing, aquatic ecosystems and fisheries, water delivery systems, hydroelectric facilities, agriculture, and the environment in general. A multi-agency partnership, including the California Departments of Fish and Wildlife, DBW, Water Resources, and Food and Agriculture as well as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service, and many local governments and water agencies, is in place to alert the public – and particularly boat owners – about the quagga and zebra mussel threat. The Quagga and Zebra Mussel Infestation program is an additional resource in the fight against these invasive aquatic species.
“Recreational boaters in California are fortunate to have access to a number of freshwater bodies,” said DBW Deputy Director Ramona Fernandez. “The presence of quagga and zebra mussels can negatively impact the ability for them to enjoy the outdoors. We encourage water body owners or managers to apply for the grant funding and protect California’s waterways and the ability for Californians to recreate in them.”