Zebra Mussel Awareness in Central Texas
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Since the introduction of the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, into the United States, freshwater food webs have been drastically altered. This mussel filters phytoplankton, the basis for aquatic food chains, which causes secondary changes, such as the reduction of sportfish and waterfowl populations. Zebra mussels also cluster in water pipes costing cities up to $3 million to keep water treatment plants and power plants operational. Ultimately, the cheapest and most effective method for fighting zebra mussels is promoting zebra mussel awareness to stop these invasive species from ever entering a lake or stream. Surveys of boaters were conducted throughout the 2015 summer and based on the data gathered, certain water bodies with low boater awareness levels should be targeted in order for awareness promotion to have the greatest effect.