Geukensia demissa, also know as ribbed mussel. Photo/Wikipedia

Yale’s online environmental newsletter features an article by Paul Greenberg on how farmed mussels are being studied for their ability to filter polluted water in some of the East Coast’s busiest harbors.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Not long ago, a boatful of shellfish researchers and I cruised downstream toward a most unlikely structure bobbing at the mouth of one of the most urban bodies of water on the planet.

“The 20’ by 25’ form ahead of us was an experimental raft that scientists from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had placed at the mouth of New York City’s Bronx River last spring. Hanging beneath it were long, sock-like tendrils that had been seeded with Geukensia demissa, commonly known as ribbed mussels. The point of the 2-year experiment was to see whether mussels would survive or even thrive given the industrial and organic effluent that flows from the Bronx into the greater New York Harbor. If the mussels did in fact prosper in this environment, it could have implications for how we might help clean up coastal waters in various parts of the world.”

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