Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dangerous Mussels in Maryland Waterways

Remember the devastation brought about by Zebra mussels that I mentioned in a past post? Well, I have some bad news. Despite the more than $3 million dollars Maryland has spent on precautionary measures, a fish survey team on the Susquehanna River discovered a single half-inch zebra mussel inside a water intake pipe upstream from the Conowingo Dam.

The Baltimore Sun's Candus Thomson reports:

The zebra mussel is native to Europe's Black and Caspian seas. The mussels entered the Great Lakes in the mid-1980s in the ballast water of an oceangoing freighter. Since then, the mollusks have spread to waters that border or cut through more than 20 states, Quebec and Ontario. This month, they were discovered in a high-mountain lake in Utah.

Zebra mussels reproduce rapidly and attach to structures and each other, building dense layers up to a foot thick. They spread by traveling in the bottom of boats or by attaching to propellers, bilges and anchors or floating docks.

In addition to clogging reservoir ducts and hydroelectric dam intake pipes, the mussels upset the balance of nature by removing nutrients needed by other species.

Find the full article here, on baltimoresun.com

No comments: