Washington Mussel Watch program needs volunteers

By on November 21, 2012
An aerial view of Puget Sound near Seattle (Credit: Liz Lawley, via Flickr)

The National Mussel Watch program run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration received budget cuts at the federal and state levels, prompting Washington state officials to ask for the public’s help monitoring mussels, according to the Kingston Community News.

Scientists collect mussels in Puget Sound every two years and use them  to analyze contaminants in the water.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife created the Mussel Watch Pilot Expansion program to get the public involved.  Volunteer hours placing cages, checking catches and collecting mussels will reduce costs on the state.  Volunteers can log on to the WDFW site to register and be part of the program.

Mussels consume algae and contaminants and retain them for several months. Scientists can use mussels to study trends in water pollution and determine whether or not water is safe for recreation and fishing.

Image: An aerial view of Puget Sound near Seattle (Credit: Liz Lawley, via Flickr)

About Austen Verrilli

2 Comments

  1. Travis Barouch

    January 4, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    I would like to volunteer for the Mussel Watch program. I have lots of time from January to February. Let me know if I can help.

    • Austen Verrilli

      January 18, 2013 at 8:37 am

      Hi Travis,

      Thanks for the reply. I believe you need to contact the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Here is a url to their volunteer page:http://wdfw.wa.gov/about/volunteer/

      It sounds like an interesting opportunity!

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