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Final Freshwater Mussel Study Plan Released in Hudson River Damage Assessment

Freshwater mussels are important components of New York’s Hudson River ecosystem; mussels filter the water, cycle nutrients, stabilize sediments, enhance habitat complexity, and are food for wildlife.

Dredging and capping/backfilling activities in the Upper Hudson River are destroying mussel beds and mussel habitat, which are not being replaced as part of the remedy for the Hudson River PCBs Superfund Site.

Past and continuing discharges of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have contaminated Hudson River natural resources.

While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is continuing with cleanup plans, federal and state trustee agencies—NOAA, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and New York State—are engaged in a natural resource damage assessment (NRDA). These agencies are responsible for evaluating the injuries associated with hazardous substance contamination to natural resources and determining appropriate actions to restore those resources.

The Hudson River Natural Resource Trustees recently issued the "Final Study Plan for Freshwater Mussel Injury Determination: Population Assessment and Potential Functional Roles of Native Mussels in Multiple Sections of the Upper Hudson River- 2014 Remedial Injury Study" and associated Responsiveness Summary. This study will assess freshwater mussel populations and ecosystem services in the Upper Hudson River. The study will collect information about freshwater mussel communities affected by the dredging and subsequent capping/backfilling of the Upper Hudson River.

The final study plan and other related case documents are also available on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Hudson River NRDAR website.

For more information, contact Tom.Brosnan@noaa.gov.

Go back to OR&R Weekly Report.

General Electric plant next to falls on the Hudson River in New York.
General Electric plant on the Hudson River in New York. (Hudson River Natural Resource Trustees)