Zebra mussels have greatly (no pun intended) impacted the Great Lakes economically and ecologically. As far as their economic impact, they will potentially cost the US and Canada “billions of dollars over the next ten years.” This is due to the massive amount of extra clean up required by several different industries to keep the Zebra Mussels from gumming up their works.
As far as their ecological impact, it seems to be up for debate. Due to their large numbers, they have certainly forced some species to decline in numbers by offering a great competition for food, but they have also helped a lot of species to flourish by providing themselves as food too.
As long as we help to prevent their continual spread, the Great Lakes can remain the diverse and wonderful group of lakes that is is.
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