Zebra Mussels Environment

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In Canada there are many environmental impacts that affect our ecosystems, wildlife, and overall environment. Invasive species are the greatest threat to the biodiversity of Canada’s waters, woodlands, and wetlands. Within Canada’s great lakes there are an outstanding, 185 non-native species entering and altering our ecosytems. One of the most influential invaders is the Zebra mussel. These small, sharp-shelled mussels are believed to have come from ships from Europe in the late 1980s. The mussels grow up to 15mm in size and are striped, hence their name Zebra Mussel. The reason zebra mussels are so prominent within Canada’s waterways is because they easily go undetected, therefore when found, it is usually too late. This is because when the…show more content…
Boaters have become negligent of our aquatic environment by continuing to transport the species. Boaters do this by not draining and cleaning their vessels before proceeding to a new body of water. In 2012, Manitoba and British Columbia’s provincial government amended the Controlled Alien Species Regulation, which imposes fines on individuals who, posses, breed, release, and/or transport Zebra mussels. Failure to abide by these laws could result with a fine up too $100,000. (“Zebra and Quagga Mussels”) A similar legislation has been proposed within Ontario in 2014, but has unfortunately yet to be passed. Furthermore, as these new laws are introduced within Canada, and enforcement is put forth, we will hopefully eventually see a decrease in population of the Zebra…show more content…
The scientists, who have studied the mussels within Lake Winnipeg, have expressed that this could potentially be a “golden opportunity” (Puxley) in finding a way to prevent the infestation. Though, there is no way of knowing how many mussels were actually killed off during this process. Not only is this experiment dangerous for the environment due to its uncertainty, but its very costly to a province as well, starting at around $500,000 for the decontamination of one single harbor. Last October this experiment was put into action when 400 tonnes of potash were dumped into the harbor, although results looked hopeful, only time will reveal if the fertilizer does good, or only causes more pollution the lakes.

In conclusion, the Zebra mussel is a growing nuisance for Canada’s waterways and overall ecosystem. In many ways it is obvious that Zebra mussels compromise the ecological integrity of the aquatic environments in Canada. Whether this be through the process of obstructing water flow, destroying landscape, or disruption of the food chain, the population of these invaders are growing increasingly worse. If the awareness of this invasive species and inspection for them is not in increased within our country, we will be faces with irreversible ecological damage in the

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