Shellfish Solution

Bivalve Farming May Purify Fouled Waters




Scientists are investigating whether mussels can be grown in urban areas as a way of cleansing coastal waters of sewage, fertilizers and other pollutants. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has placed an experimental raft at the mouth of New York City’s Bronx River with long tendrils seeded with geukensia demissa hanging beneath it.

The two-year experiment will test whether the ribbed mussel can survive in the industrial and organic effluent found there. If it does, that could have implications for cleaning up coastal waters all over the world. The idea of using bivalves like mussels, oysters and clams to purify waterways has been on the minds of conservationists and scientists for decades. If the creatures can absorb enough nitrogen from the polluted water, it will prevent algae blooms that deprive waterways of the oxygen needed to support life.

Other researchers also are investigating the beneficial effects of raising seaweed and kelp in conjunction with bivalves to clean coastal waters.


Source: E360.yale.edu

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

‘Sink’ Setback

Logging, drought and wildfires may be turning forests in Africa, Asia and Latin America into carbon emitters rather than absorbers.

Clear Gain

Scientists have developed a transparent, luminescent solar concentrator that looks like clear glass that could potentially supply two-fifths of U.S. energy needs.

Top Polluters

New research shows that a 100 fossil-fuel producers globally are responsible for 71 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions during the last 30 years.

Waxworm Wonders

Bacteria found in waxworms can digest plastic in mere weeks or months, far outperforming other plastic decomposition processes requiring 10 to 1,000 years.

Wind Harvest

The first floating wind farm in the UK, Hywind in Scotland, will have a 30-megawatt capacity to provide clean energy to 20,000 homes.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags