The first zebra mussels in the Great Lakes were identified in 1988. Since this initial discovery, the mollusk has spread to all corners of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Ecosystem, and pushing south to the Mississippi Delta and west to places like California and Nevada. It has wreaked havoc on municipal and industrial water infrastructure, piled up on beaches, and devastated natural wildlife populations.
It is widely accepted that the zebra mussel arrived by hitchhiking a ride in or on ocean-vessels. Yet today, after spending hundreds of millions annually to control the mussel, we still lack the protective regulations that would have stopped them. The Barbarians are passed the gate, and yet it is still swinging open. And with the Seaway open for business on March 20th, the next onslaught of invasive species is marching toward us.
Zebra Mussel Factsheet
Timeline of Ballast Management Policy
Zebra Mussel Invasion: Unheeded Alarms
Map of Zebra Mussel Spread in Ontario
Map of Zebra Mussel Spread in the United States
Great Lakes Aquatic Invasive Species: List of Invasive Species
Great Lakes Aquatic Invasive Species Database (external link)
Stories and Case Studies
Rideau River, Ontario
100th Meridian Initiative