2001 ICM Problem：Our Waterways - An Uncertain Future
Zebra mussels, Dreissena polymorpha, are small, fingernail-sized, freshwater mollusks unintentionally introduced to North America via ballast water from a transoceanic vessel. Since their introduction in the mid 1980s, they have spread through all of the Great Lakes and to an increasing number of inland waterways in the United States and Canada. Zebra mussels colonize on various surfaces, such as docks, boat hulls, commercial fishing nets, water intake pipes and valves, native mollusks and other zebra mussels. Their only known predators, some diving ducks, freshwater drum, carp, and sturgeon, are not numerous enough to have a significant effect on them. Zebra mussels have significantly impacted the Great Lakes ecosystem and economy. Many communities are trying to control or eliminate these aquatic pests.
SOURCE: Great Lakes Sea Grant Network http://www.glerl.noaa.gov/seagrant/.
Researchers are attempting to identify the environmental variables related to the zebra mussel infestation in North American waterways. The relevant factors that may limit or prevent the spread of the zebra mussel are uncertain. You will have access to some reference data to include listings of several chemicals and substances in the water system that may affect the spread of the zebra mussel throughout waterways. Additionally, you can assume individual zebra mussels grow at a rate of 15 millimeters per year with a life span between 4 - 6 years. The typical mussel can filter 1 liter of water each day.