Economic Risk of Zebra and Quagga Mussels in the Columbia River Basin

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This report is an update to the IEAB report 2010-1 titled “Economic Risk Associated with the Potential Establishment of Zebra and Quagga Mussels in the Columbia River Basin.”  Overall, the information provided in the updated report suggests that recent state actions to augment ongoing regional prevention efforts are justified economically and should be continued, if not expanded.

In addition to providing updated information about the environmental conditions required for zebra or quagga mussel survival and establishment, the report’s major findings are:

  • Since 2010, a number of events have led to increasing concern about the probability of zebra or quagga mussels becoming established in the basin.
  • The potential economic and ecological impacts of invasive mussels in the Columbia Basin are becoming more widely recognized.
  • The outlook for prevention to be successful has improved, and some studies suggest that prevention may be underfunded.
  • Prevention efforts at the State level might be improved by better enforcement, expanded inspections, and applied research.
  • Changes to the federal Lacey Act and its implementation could help improve prevention.
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