Federal Regulation and Management
This website has a list and information on the federal laws relevant to invasive species. Two primary federal laws relevant to zebra and quagga mussels (as well as other invasive species) are the Lacey Act of 1900 (amended in 1998) and the National Invasive Species Act, NISA, of 1996 (originally the Non-indigenous Aquatic Nuisance Protection and Control Act, NANPCA, of 1990).
The Lacey Act was enacted in 1990 due to the impact of the feather trade on wild bird populations.
- The original goal of the Act was to protect wild game and bird populations by prohibiting trade in organisms that have been illegally taken, possessed, transported or sold.
- The Act also prevents importation, interstate movement, or acquisition of some plants and wildlife listed as "injurious".
- Zebra and quagga mussels are now listed as injurious under this law, and possession and transport of these mussels is prohibited in the United States, unless permited for research or other such uses.
Non-indigenous Aquatic Nuisance Protection and Control Act, NANPCA, of 1990 was passed largely in response to the invasion of the Great Lakes by zebra mussels in the late 1980's.
- The Act initiated specific programs for aquatic invasive species management (terrestrial animal and plant species have been rcognized and managed since the late 1800's).
- The Act established the federal interagency Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force (ANS Task Force) to coordinate the expanding activities agencies with an interest in aquatic invasive species management.
- The act required ships headed for the Great Lakes to exchange their ballast water at sea. Ballast water was responsible for transport of zebra and quagga mussels to the Great Lakes.
NANPCA was reauthorized in 1996 and become the National Invasive Species Act, NISA. NISA stipulated stronger nationwide controls for ballast water management, and also established a series of regional task forces to coordinate action on aquatic pests on a regional scale.
- The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) is a co-chair of the ANS Task Force and is also involved in enforcing provisions of the Lacey Act and is involved in other aspects of Eurasian mussel management and outreach.
- The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) is heavily involved in zebra and quagga mussel outreach, research, and management due to their ownership and management of a great deal of water conveyance infrastructure throughout the western United States.
- The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) performs research and outreach on a variety of invasive species. Their website for Eurasian mussels includes maps of zebra and quagga mussel distribution updated daily.
- The National Park Service (NPS) is involved with Eurasian mussel outreach and management at infested reservoirs located in parks, such as Lake Mead. The Lake Mead program is described here.
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) performs research on management and control of invasive species and has been involved in ballast water management. Their programs are described here.
- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) manages zebra and quagga mussels at their flood control facilities. They also perform research on control and management. A variety of technical and research reports, including Zebra Mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) Control Handbook for Facility Operators, can be found here.