Zebra Mussels And Mike Leavitt

Lynne Kiesling

Here’s an interesting article on zebra mussels in the Great Lakes, and EPA Director Mike Leavitt’s face-to-face introduction to our little invasive species critters.

Handling a zebra mussel while hearing two longtime anglers say how the mussels have hurt fishing in the lake was the kind of experience Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds, R-Clarence, was hoping Leavitt would get when he invited him to come to Buffalo on Tuesday.

Leavitt has been put in charge of an effort announced earlier this year by the Bush administration to coordinate 10 federal agencies that administer more than 140 federal programs managing or funding Great Lakes restoration projects.

Zebra mussels are fascinating, essentially the shop-vac of the Great Lakes. One reason why zebra mussels harm fishing is that now the lakes are too clean! Great for us kayakers, not so good for fishies and the people who fish and eat fishies.

It’s yet another example of having to adapt to external changes in complex adaptive systems.