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Colorado River Alliance addresses zebra mussel threat

Monday, June 4, 2018 by Katy McElroy

Since the zebra mussels arrived last year, they have been spreading at an alarming rate throughout our waters, and a local group dedicated to educating the community about protecting the Colorado River wants to make sure everyone is aware of the problem. “Over Memorial Day weekend, people were talking about the ‘Zebra Mussel explosion’ in Lake Travis and Lake Austin, and even the scientists are impressed with how fast these things are spreading,” said Colorado River Alliance Executive Director R. Brent Lyles in a press release. “Invasive Zebra Mussels will cause tens of millions of dollars in damage in the coming years. They reproduce so quickly that they clog up water pipes and damage boats, and we need to be prepared to see ecological damage in the Colorado River as well.” The alliance’s Barstow Speakers Series luncheon this month, hosted by the Austin Board of Realtors on Friday, June 15, will provide an introduction to the species and explain the danger it poses to the local ecosystem, what boat owners and lakefront-property owners should know about the situation, and what monitoring and mediation tools are being created to address the problem. Speaking at the event are three top experts in the field:

  • Monica McGarrity, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s aquatic invasive species team leader
  • Stephen Davis, a biologist with the Lower Colorado River Authority who is tasked with monitoring mussels in the Colorado River basin
  • John Higley, CEO and principal scientist at Environmental Quality Operations, a tech startup that is developing technologies to help the situation

Tickets to “Zebra Mussels in the Texas Colorado River: Status, Threats and Potential Solutions,” which are $40 and include lunch, can be purchased at the Colorado River Alliance website.

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