WVPA Sharing

West Virginia freshwater mussels at risk

By Emily Keefer, The Journal

MORGAN COUNTY, W.Va. — Freshwater mussels play a little-known role in West Virginia’s rivers and streams.

Recently, scientists, ecologists and researchers used masks and snorkels to monitor freshwater mussel populations in the Cacapon River in Morgan County and later created a report on the declining populations.

“As their numbers dramatically decline, we must now focus on restoring mussel populations, according to a recent report on mussels in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, which includes West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle,” the official press release from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation said.

The report comes from a workgroup of experts under the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program. It lays the groundwork for expanding mussel restoration in the region with a growing coalition of advocates and scientists.

“Freshwater mussels really are the unsung heroes of our rivers and streams. But, as their populations plummet, I’m afraid we could lose some mussel species before we fully understand their benefits,” Joseph Wood, Chesapeake Bay Foundation Virginia senior scientist, who is the lead author of the report, said in the press release…

To read more: https://www.journal-news.net/journal-news/west-virginia-freshwater-mussels-at-risk/article_090d78cf-600b-5f4b-849b-c87aa9e38982.html

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