Invasive mussel infestations pose significant logistical and economic challenges for local communities, recreationists, and water managers. Currently, no specific remediation method has demonstrated to be both efficient and economical making it ideal for use in large-scale eradication of invasive dreissenid mussel populations once these become widely established in “open water”, e.g., lakes, rivers, and reservoir benthic zones. Infestations now encompass as many as twenty nine states and efforts to use aqueous-based biocides deployed in open water have not been demonstrated capable of delivering sufficient quantities of necrotic agent to the areas where target species settle and propagate (in the benthic zone).
See short video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWEFlDAUeFQ.
Prior efforts to develop a product that is capable of delivering ‘the ultimate kill shot’ to invasive mussels have, for the most part, been only marginally successful. However, some useful information was gleaned from prior efforts. Our Team has proposed the following tasks under Phase II.
Since the target benthos (zebra/quagga mussels) are sifters and can only thrive within certain levels of their environment (below 3’ in depth; or below the freeze level), the logical approach is to concentrate on creating a specialized delivery system capable of operating within that known parameter. So, that circumstance constitutes the ‘fundamental issue’. Likewise, the method of treatment enabling accomplishment of the goal of total species eradication compels configuration of a delivery system possessing capability to perform a number of different functions within the scope of that ‘fundamental’ parameter that enables multiple functionality in one delivery vessel. To accomplish the goals (operate in the benthic zone, deliver necrotic intact, not be injurious to other ecotypes, be inexpensive and easy to use, etc.), we propose to develop a unique delivery system that has the following properties:
1.Configuration of the delivery system to be heavier than water so that necrotic agents and ‘bullet-genes’ can be delivered to the benthic zone and not be carried away in the matrix of open water. This innate feature eliminates prospects of product waste;
2.A secondary goal of preventing potential exposure of the necrotic agent to other indigenous ecotypes is initially accomplished by placement of product directly on the floor of the body of water (thus, preventing exposure to game fish, water fowl, etc.) and by making the biocontrol agents gene-specific to the targeted species. Exploiting this feature assures that the new product can only impact the specific target species. This is further assured by configuring each individual manufacture to contain a specific amount (or, ‘dose’) of biocide or the specific number of ‘bullet-genes’ sufficient to cause necrosis. This feature, individual organism dosing, is a totally-new concept in the field of bioremediation and will be explored and developed further in Phase II.
3.The delivery system must be configured to be small enough to be ingested by the target species. We propose to produce several iterations of sample product ranging in sizes from .789 Å to 3um to 10um to 20um.