Volunteers gathering mussels not for meals but to gauge health of shoreline waters | HeraldNet.com – Local news
EDMONDS — On the jetty at Brackett’s Landing this past week, volunteers pried mussels from barnacle-encrusted boulders using serrated table knives.
The tiny black bivalves dislodged to crinkling sounds on a frigid afternoon were too puny for any self-respecting chef to serve up on a steaming plate. No, these mussels were headed for Ziploc bags and a cooler for an eventual trip to a Texas lab. There, scientists plan to sample their tissues for more than 100 contaminants, including fossil-fuel byproducts, industrial chemicals and heavy metals. The aim is to identify pollution that often comes from common sources such as creosote-treated logs and flame retardants.
The Edmonds volunteers were among a half-dozen groups in Snohomish County aiding a yearly national research project.