Concerns related to the introduction and spread of the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, in North America have resulted in the establishment of a Zebra Mussel Research Program (ZMRP) being conducted by the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, MS. Prior to development of procedures to dispose of large numbers of zebra mussels, information on the concentrations of contaminants that have been bioaccumulated in field populations is necessary. Zebra mussels are freshwater bivalves that have been shown to be good bioaccumulators of aquatic contaminants such as pesticides,other organics, and metals (Bruner et al. 1992, Reeders and bij de Vaate 1992).
Sediment samples from the same location as the zebra mussel samples should be collected whenever possible. Contaminants of interest include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), pesticides (e.g., chlordane, DDT, dieldrin, etc.), metals, and hydrocarbons associated with oil pollution - polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
Five jars should be supplied for each collection site. Four jars should be filled with whole, rinsed zebra mussels, and one jar should be filled with bottom sediment from the same general location as the zebra mussel sample. Ideally, this sediment sample should be from immediately below the zebra mussels. If this is not possible, the sediment should be taken from as close as possible to the mussels. The full jars should be covered with aluminum foil, sealed with a lid, and placed in an insulated shipping container like an insulated container containing ice. If samples are to be held overnight prior to shipping, then they should be placed in a freezer or at least maintained on ice.
Zebra mussel and sediment samples (obtained at the same time and from the same location) shoud be sent to the USACE lab. Shipments should be sent overnight express delivery.
Please review the zebra mussel collection procedures below.
ZEBRA MUSSEL COLLECTION PROCEDURES
1. DO NOT OPEN JARS BEFORE INTRODUCTION OF ZEBRA MUSSELS OR SEDIMENT.
2. RINSE MUSSELS WITH AMBIENT WATER BEFORE PUTTING THEM IN THE JARS; THE SEDIMENT SAMPLES SHOULD NOT CONTAIN MUSSELS, ROCKS OR OTHER DEBRIS.
3. FILL JARS WITH MUSSELS OR SEDIMENT; AT LEAST ONE HALF JAR IS NECESSARY.
4. PLACE ALUMINUM FOIL AND LID ON JAR; LABEL WITH DATE, LOCATION, ETC.
5. PLACE JARS IN PLASTIC BAGS TO MINIMIZE BREAKAGE AND PLACE IN AN INSULATED CHEST WITH ICE; SHIP TO USACE-VICKSBURG (SEE ADDRESS AND CONTACT BELOW) AS SOON AS POSSIBLE OR PLACE THE SAMPLES IN A FREEZER.
Samples may be sent to the following address:
Dr. Henry Tatem (ES-F)
USAERDC - Waterways Experiment Station
3909 Halls Ferry Road
Vicksburg, Mississippi, 39180-6199
Phone No. 601-634-3695 FAX No. 601-634-3120