Invasive species from San Francisco Bay — known as the most infested waterway in the country — would have an open door for entry into Puget Sound under a bill moving through Congress.
You may have heard this line before. I posted the same warning last summer, when the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act, or VIDA, was attached to the “must-pass” National Defense Authorization Act. (Water Ways, July 16). Opponents fought back and were able to strip VIDA from the bill before final passage.
Now, with Republicans in control of both houses of Congress and an anti-regulatory atmosphere in place, the bill’s passage seems more likely this time — to the detriment of Puget Sound, the Great Lakes and other waterways.
If VIDA passes, ships coming up the coast from California will be able to take on infested ballast water in San Francisco Bay and discharge it without treatment into Puget Sound. Invasive species that hitched a ride in the ballast water would have a chance to populate Puget Sound.