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Environmental Contaminants Specialists and Endangered Species Program Team Up to Assess Threats to Endangered Freshwater Mussels in Michigan
Midwest Region, September 5, 2013
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Lisa Williams and Barbara Hosler of the East Lansing Field Office display a push point sampling device.
Lisa Williams and Barbara Hosler of the East Lansing Field Office display a push point sampling device. - Photo Credit: Photograph by Jeremy N. Moore
Jamie Bettaso of East Lansing’s Endangered Species Program secures the push point device for pore water sample collection, Belle River, Michigan.
Jamie Bettaso of East Lansing’s Endangered Species Program secures the push point device for pore water sample collection, Belle River, Michigan. - Photo Credit: Photograph by Jeremy N. Moore
The pore water push point is secured as a peristaltic pump removes water from 4-7 cm of sediment.
The pore water push point is secured as a peristaltic pump removes water from 4-7 cm of sediment. - Photo Credit: Photograph by Lisa Williams
Steve Choy (Green Bay Field Office), Elissa Buttermore (Twin Cities Field Office) and Jamie Bettaso (East Lansing Field Office) collect pore water, Belle River, Michigan.
Steve Choy (Green Bay Field Office), Elissa Buttermore (Twin Cities Field Office) and Jamie Bettaso (East Lansing Field Office) collect pore water, Belle River, Michigan. - Photo Credit: Photograph by Jeremy N. Moore
Jeremy N. Moore (East Lansing Field Office) and Elissa Buttermore (Twin Cities Field Office) sample pore water from the Belle River, Michigan.
Jeremy N. Moore (East Lansing Field Office) and Elissa Buttermore (Twin Cities Field Office) sample pore water from the Belle River, Michigan. - Photo Credit: Photograph by Lisa Williams
Jamie Bettaso, Elissa Buttermore, Barbara Hosler, Steve Choy and Lisa Williams return after a sampling event on the Grand River, Michigan.
Jamie Bettaso, Elissa Buttermore, Barbara Hosler, Steve Choy and Lisa Williams return after a sampling event on the Grand River, Michigan. - Photo Credit: Photograph by Jeremy N. Moore

Environmental contaminant specialists and the endangered species biologists collected pore water and overlying water from three Michigan rivers to assess ammonia, copper and major ions as threats to the recovery of imperiled freshwater mussels. Lisa Williams, Barbara Hosler, Jamie Bettaso and Jeremy N. Moore of the East Lansing Field Office, and Elissa Buttermore and Steve Choy of the Twin Cities and Green Bay field offices measured basic water quality parameters and collected water for detailed water quality analysis from the Belle, Grand and Black rivers. The team is investigating the potential of these contaminants to be limiting factors to the growth and sustainability of listed mussel species where threatened and/or endangered species occur or have historically occurred. Pore and overlying water samples are being analyzed for ammonia, copper and major ions at a laboratory under contract with the Service's Analytical Control Facility. Using an ACF contract laboratory ensures that quality control, quality assurance, and detection limit data quality objectives are met. Results will provide preliminary information on possible limiting factors to listed mussel populations and will help guide recovery efforts by identifying threats and potential restoration and relocation sites. Data from this project will be cross referenced with the Environmental Protection Agency “Aquatic Life Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Ammonia – Freshwater 2013” (August 2013). Data will also be incorporated into the Mussel Threats Geospatial Database, recently created by Ecological Services biologists (Erik Olson) and the Illinois Natural History Survey, to help identify threats to the recovery of endangered freshwater mussels. This project was made possible through funds obtained from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and Upper Midwest and Great Lakes Landscape Conservation Cooperative.


Contact Info: Jeremy Moore, 517-351-8318, jeremy_n_moore@fws.gov



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