Wednesday, May 23 , 2018, 10:09 pm | Mostly Cloudy 59º

 
 
 
 

Governor Signs Williams’ Bill to Protect Local Waterways

Assembly Bill 2443 will help battle devastating mussel infestation

Assemblyman Das Williams’ bill designed to protect local waters from mussel infestation has been signed into law by California Gov. Jerry Brown.

The zebra and Quagga mussels pose a major threat to California’s water supply, flood control and power generation. The mussel infestation has already damaged aquatic ecosystems in the Great Lakes region, costing the public billions of dollars. Water managers fear that Lake Tahoe could be at threat.

“We must do everything we can to protect our waterways and keep our water supply safe,” Williams said. “This bill will allow communities across California to act earlier to prevent mussel infestation and respond quicker to the significant problems they create.”

Once established in a body of freshwater, these mussels latch onto pipes, valves, screens, irrigation canals and gates, often in quantities that severely impede the movement of water and the operation of other water management infrastructure. They also multiply rapidly and devour food supplies for native life in our lakes, disrupting the food chain.

AB 2443 establishes a fee increase on freshwater vessel registration that would be used to assist local governments in protecting vulnerable waterways from non-native Quagga and zebra mussel infestation. The bill would require the Department of Boating and Waterways to determine and impose a reasonable surcharge on recreational boat registration fees. Recreational boats often spread the Quagga and zebra mussels.

Local officials praised the decision.

“The Cachuma Operation and Maintenance Board was an early supporter of AB 2443, and we are thrilled that Gov. Brown has signed it into law,” said Lauren Hanson, president of COMB and board member for the Goleta Water District. “It will offer significant help to everyone working to protect California’s waterways from invasive mussel species.

“Over 200,000 people on the Santa Barbara South Coast rely on Lake Cachuma for their drinking water. This bill, written by Assemblymember Williams, is a wise and economical way to help to protect this vital drinking water source and all California waterways.”

Existing state law bans the transport — both intentional and unintentional — of Quagga and zebra mussels. Up until now, local governments have not had the resources to adequately prevent or respond to the threat of the mussel infestation.

— Josh Molina is a communications specialist for Assemblyman Das Williams.

 

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >