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Old 04-10-2013
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Re: Zebra Mussels - Lakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by KIVALO View Post
Are you making the argument that zebra mussels were introduced as a means to control pollution? Or did I misunderstand your point?
Re-read the thread, Kivalo. Travelineasy and Benesailor, specifically, have suggested zebras should be intentionally (or surreptitiously) introduced into the Chesapeake watershed as a means of improving water clarity. As an alternative to costly cleanup and pollution management programs. Ahaahaa. Exactly when has intentional or accidental introduction of invasive species gone as planned? Dingos, rabbits, or cane toads in Australia? Rats and goats in Hawaii? Tree snake in Guam? Lake trout in Yellowstone? I suppose you could make a case for the earthworm and European honeybee in the Americas; tho the Africanized bee is the flip side of that.

Distilled water is very clear, too. Absolutely sterile, nothing lives in it, but lovely to look at. Much of the 'murk' you see in estuaries is called nutrients, and its what the entire food chain rests upon. Near-shore game fish populations in the Finger Lakes have been hurt badly by the zebra mussel; I know lifelong fishermen who quit trying a decade ago, because the fishing has gotten so poor.

Any excess Bay algae or sludge that results from human activity ought to be brought down to healthy levels. The way to do that is by attacking point or distributed sources of pollution. Start with your own behavior: you got a quarter acre of luscious, weed-free bluegrass turf in front of your home? How much nitrogen, phosphorus, pesticide, and herbicide you dumping on that baby every year? How much of that ends up in the storm drains after a hard rain? Multiply by a few million, and there's the cause of much of the Bay's murk. You willing to address that? Or do you subscribe to the "Take a pill, feel better" approach? Rather than changing our diets or exercising regularly, let's just pop a handful of Lipitor and shove a stent in there. Hand me another cheeseburger! Let's not re-think our approach to suburban landscaping -- we'll just gamble with the entire Chesapeake ecosystem instead. *sigh*

It's insane to approach behavioral or environmental problems by throwing invasive species at them. The human record in this department, dating back about 20,000 years, is one dismal, unmitigated FAIL.
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