|Why should we care about freshwater mussels? For some, conserving a
species for its own sake is hard to whole-heartedly support. So
consider this. For starters, they are not only a vital part of an
ecosystem of which many other animals depend, but they are excellent
indicators of the quality of the water on which we humans depend. If
mussels are dying, it means something is wrong with our water.
Additionally, as filter-feeders, mussels are Mother Nature's water
purifiers. They filter algae, bacteria and other fine organic matter
from the water column as their food source. More than that, mussels can
even remove inorganic sediments from the water by filtering it out,
packaging it with mucous and depositing it on the bottom of the stream.
On average, a single mussel may filter up to ½ gallon of water per day.
Multiply that by the thousands of mussels that could live in a single
mussel bed, and that becomes a serious water-purifying service -
completely at no cost to us! And even though they may not seem to have
the charisma of warm furry mammals or maybe even a fish, we believe that if
you peruse this site, watch our videos, and learn about these animals,
you will find them to be simply amazing. |