After 4 months of the planting and enduring sub zero temperature, the mussels didn't make it. This past weekend I found them all opened and covered in a grey-green muck. One can see how the mussels were suffocated by this sludge coming from the CSO. I had to overturn one mussel to show how the sand was completely covered with this toxic mud.
This happened while the New York State DEP is reconstructing the CSO at English Kills. Apparently the construction is allowing all sorts of stuff to bypass into the basin before its completion. The sludge appears everywhere in the basin.
On this day Ive seen more floatables than at any other time in English Kills. Even a garden seeding truck washes up ashore on the banks. Is having a habitat stationed in the direct flow from the CSO a good idea? Now here is the good news:
My collaborator Dr. Durand spotted new colonies of mussels further upstream in English Kills! They were found in an inlet (see image above) located where the Schamonchi is docked, perpendicular to Morgan Ave. They are nestled on the North West wall of the small inlet. Dr Durand believes the walls, formed of old wood bulkheads surrounding the inlet, have mussels living within the seams. These colonies are not in the direct flow of the CSO outflow.
If this is the case, then there must be more mussel colonies throughout English Kills and there is still hope to create NEW habitats that can survive along its bulkheads!