BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Virginia Tech biologists are teaming up with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to release 5,000 endangered mussels into a biologically diverse river that runs through southwest Virginia and Tennessee.
The release is scheduled for Tuesday in the Powell River, which originates in southwest Virginia and flows into east Tennessee. The river abounds with life, including nearly 100 species of fish and 35 species of mussels.
The Powell, however, has been under pressure from mining, logging and other activities. Mussels act as filters to purify waters, and that is behind this restoration effort. The Powell is home to 13 mussel species listed as endangered.
Tech's Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation is working with its federal partner and Lincoln Memorial University to revitalize the Powell.