SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) is encouraging public agencies to apply for grants to prevent the spread of quagga and zebra mussels in California’s waterways. A total of $3.75 million in funding from the Quagga and Zebra Mussel Infestation Prevention Grant Program (QZ Grant Program) is available for eligible applicants. Applications will be accepted from April 2, 2019 through May 10, 2019 by 5 p.m.
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.
“California water body authorities very early recognized the westward spread of mussel infestation via the Colorado River system and the potential harm to state waterways should our lakes and reservoirs be invaded,” says DBW Acting Deputy Director Ramona Fernandez. “To help prevent California waterways from infestation, DBW is authorized to provide grants to entities that own or manage any aspect of the water in a publicly accessible reservoir that is currently mussel free.”
Owners and managers of uninfested reservoirs as defined in Section 6004.5 of the California Water Code are eligible to apply. Funds are available for prevention projects such as planning, watercraft inspection stations and inspectors, launch monitors, watercraft decontamination units, educational signage and outreach. These competitive grants are intended to augment local resources.
DBW will host a grant webinar on Thursday, April 4 that will allow interested parties to learn how to apply for the grants. For more information, please visit the QZ Grant Program webpage.