Yesterday: Sand. Today: Zebra Mussels & Quagga Mussels
September 15, 2010
“In terms of the whole food web, I don’t think there’s any question that zebra and quagga mussels have had the largest impact on the biological communities of the Great Lakes”
~Tom Nalepa, Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory
Today’s villain in our Michigan Invasive Species series are Zebra Mussels & Quagga Mussels. That feature on Absolute Michigan goes in depth about who they are and what they do so I won’t go on and on here except to say that as someone who walks the beaches of Lake Michigan often, there’s few things that make me sadder or madder than these little bastards. They’ve trashed the food chain, spawned all manner of nasty plants & algae and they slice up your feet.
This stretch of beach on South Manitou Island was once filled with sugary white sand. Today, the beach is covered in razor sharp zebra mussel shells. I knelt to take then photo, and when I stood, my knee was bleeding in 3 places.