Invasive Quagga Mussels Threaten Grand Canyon Waters

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I want to take a minute to talk about how you can help protect Grand Canyon National Park. Introduced species that cause harm to the ecological health of an area are called invasive species.

These species can be plants, animals, or microbes and are usually spread by human activity. A common way for invasive species to be spread is on boats and other watercraft.

Recently, an invasive mussel was found in the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park. This particularly damaging invasive species is called the quagga mussel.

Adult mussels are about the size of your thumb nail, and immature mussels are microscopic.

Once introduced, the quagga mussel carpets underwater rock surfaces quickly.

These mussels disrupt food webs, clog water intakes and their sharp shells become a recreational hazard.

If we don’t clean boats and gear that have been in waters containing this mussel, we will unfortunately spread this invasive species throughout the Colorado River.

Everyone with a boat can help by taking three easy steps: Clean, Drain and Dry. 

These steps should be part of every river trip. 

Clean means to go around the boat and remove any visible mud or plants and also to take a bucket or hose and rinse the hull and interior of any standing water or debris. 

Drain means to allow all water to drain out of the boat and any equipment.

Dry means that the boat and all equipment should be completely dry before launching on your next trip.

Whether you have a dory, raft or kayak – you can move water and invasive species with your boat and gear. 


Every single boat that arrives at Grand Canyon to float should arrive clean. 

At the end of your trip you should be sure to clean, drain and dry your boat and all gear before heading out on a new waterway.

Grand Canyon National Park takes a number of precautions to ensure that river trips are safe, fun and protect the uniqueness of Grand Canyon.  But we all need to help to protect this precious river. Take the Clean Drain Dry steps before and after every boating trip!

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Duration:
2 minutes, 24 seconds

Recently, an invasive mussel was found in the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park. This particularly damaging invasive species is called the quagga mussel.

If we don’t clean boats and gear that have been in waters containing this mussel, we will unfortunately spread this invasive species throughout the Colorado River.

Everyone with a boat can help by taking three easy steps: Clean, Drain and Dry.