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Water quality group gets rejuvenated in south Okanagan

Water quality group gets rejuvenated in south Okanagan

OSOYOOS — An organization formed to protect a popular lake in the south Okanagan was at risk of closing because of a lack of volunteers.

“Without new board members, we were in danger of folding,” said Birgit Arnstein, President of the Osoyoos Lake Water Quality Society.

But over the weekend, the group  was able to recruit even more board members than it intended. It was able to replace the three board members that resigned and gain two more volunteers, including Sean Van Horn.

“My expertise is in business development. I found that the need with this society was really complimentary to my know how,” said Van Horn.

With a full membership, the group is  getting back to business.

It monitors the water quality of Osoyoos Lake weekly and will now be able to focus on helping the province tackle a potential mussel invasion through awareness programs.

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The province remains on the front lines of the inspections.

READ MORE: 8 permanent mussel inspection stations set up in B.C.

Barb Leslie is one of 36 people inspecting boats at various provincial and American border checkpoints, ensuring the watercrafts are free of quagga and zebra mussels.

“We do know that we’ve got boats coming in from provinces and states that do have mussels,” said Leslie.

Currently, British Columbia waterways look to be free of invasive mussels. The province hopes it stays this way because the rapidly-multiplying invader can have devastating consequences with huge costs to taxpayers.

The province believes the mussels will cost taxpayers $43 million annually.