What the Government is Doing About Apple Snails

Question: What measures are the state and federal governments taking to address the problem of invasive apple snails in the U.S.?

Answer: State to state, we’re seeing kind of different reactions from each state. South Carolina has been pretty active on control, and we’ve been a part of those treatments. Alabama has certainly been very active in the control, and Mississippi. Georgia has identified the problem and is doing a real good job of being proactive and kind of tracking population densities, but just like in every state economy, funding for control measures has been difficult. And particularly for Georgia, that doesn’t have a big rice market, support of that funding has been kind of slow to react. But even if you go to the federal level, on the federal level it’s taking a while to transition from, “Hey, we’ve got a problem,” to “this is where the problem is,” and now “here is funding to correct the problem,” even on the federal level. So we’re starting to see federal grants coming in for control options, but it’s been a slow trickle-down kind of effect. I don’t, other than with a couple of treatments that we’ve done in cooperation with the University of Georgia, we haven’t seen any state-level control for funding. And even the University of Georgia was done under private grant for research, not necessarily actively trying to control the snails. So, Florida’s been very active in it. Every state, their biggest struggle is funding, quite frankly, and it’s a big problem. And we’re seeing the trickle-down of that funding, but it’s been a lot slower than what I think it needs. It’s a very serious issue, and what we are seeing in how quickly their population is expanding. My biggest concern is that it’s going to expand quicker than funding is going to get here.

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