Outreach and education remain critical tools in the fight against aquatic nuisance species such as quagga and zebra mussels. Lack of awareness is a major impediment to preventing the spread and minimizing impacts from invasive mussels. If individuals do not understand the impacts of invasive mussels, or learn how they can help prevent their spread, it will be difficult to gain their support toward solutions.
There are a number of outreach and education strategies in use within the West – some specifically address quagga and/or zebra mussels, while others address the larger ANS issue. The national “Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!” campaign, used widely throughout the West, was designed to appeal to a broad range of interested parties and covers all ANS and actions to prevent their spread and introduction. Many States have also developed various quagga and/or zebra mussel specific messaging.
Current outreach strategies include informational brochures, stickers, videos, public service announcements, permanent and temporary exhibits and displays, billboards and highway signage, signage at boat access points, websites, presentations, agency training, information booths, and one-on-one outreach to the public.
Reclamation has previously provided Stop Aquatic Hitchhiker signs to its regional and area offices.