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ZEBRA MUSSEL

Environmental Engineering Dictionary
The zebra mussel, a freshwater Eurasian lamellibranch mollusk (Dreissena polymorpha), is a marine shellfish which was first discovered in the Great Lakes of the United States in 1988 and is believed to have arrived in North America by being carried in the ballast water of a cargo vessel. Since the first discovery of this exotic species, they have spread rapidly through North American surface waters, particularly throughout the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins and their navigable tributaries. As of March 1996, zebra mussels were resident in nineteen states and two Canadian provinces. Zebra mussels can cause severe fouling of municipal drinking water, electric power generation, and industrial water systems; they are also harmful to aquatic ecosystems, boating and navigation, agricultural irrigation equipment, aquacultural equipment, and recreation beach use.

 

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