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Jaime Herrera Beutler Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Effort Passes U.S. House
Quagga and zebra mussels pose major threat to hydropower-generating dams, salmon recovery, river operators; Jaime-championed initiative included in bipartisan House-Senate Water Infrastructure Agreement
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives approved Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler’s legislative effort to prevent aquatic invasive species from infiltrating the Columbia River ecosystem.Today, the U.S. House of Representatives approved Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler’s legislative effort to prevent aquatic invasive species from infiltrating the Columbia River ecosystem.
“I’m pleased Congress passed my legislation to protect the Columbia River Basin from invasive species that, if they spread here, would have a $500 million cost to our region,” said Jaime. “Prevention is the first line of defense, and this legislative solution represents the cheapest and most effective tool to use against invasive species.
“I’m also encouraged by the other benefits to Southwest Washington in the overall water infrastructure package, including steady, dedicated funding to maintain the waterways and ports that are lifelines for our region’s economy.”
Jaime’s anti-invasive species initiative is part of the final version of the Water Resources Development Act of 2017 (WRDA) that represents a bipartisan agreement between the U.S. House and Senate. Watercraft inspection stations intercept thousands of boats from all over the country to inspect for invasive mussels and decontaminate them. More information about Jaime’s effort is available here.
Dedicated Funding for Southwest Washington Ports
The WRDA bill also provides funding for maintenance and improvements to Southwest Washington ports by phasing in full use of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund -- money collected for harbor and channel operations maintenance and dredging. Jaime has consistently fought to ensure that 10% of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund will be set aside for small ports like those in Pacific and Wahkiakum Counties, and along the Columbia River.