Biologists are using clams to identify and clean up river pollutants.

Clams are filter-feeders, meaning they gather water into their shells, eat any food they find in that water, and then release the water back into the environment. The clam inadvertently filters more than just their food out of the water. Other material suspended in the water, such as toxins and pollutants, can accumulate in the clams.

Biologists in Washington, DC, along with help from high schoolers, released clams downstream from industrial parks and highways. The clams absorbed any lurking pollutants and then the scientists could identify the kinds and quantities of pollutants in the water. This process can be quite costly, but the clams offer an alternative method.

The ultimate goal is to be able to trace the pollutants back to their sources. From there, the cleanup process can begin.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

hey this is such an cool exhibit!many interactive activities and now to mention how much water impact all of life. rules of 3"s: 3 minutes without air, 3 days without WATER and 30days without food.

posted on Fri, 01/30/2009 - 5:03pm
Anynomus's picture
Anynomus says:

Help save the clams clean up your water stop global warming

posted on Sat, 02/07/2009 - 4:14pm
Kari's picture
Kari says:

Are world is in trouble stop global warming

posted on Sat, 02/07/2009 - 4:15pm
adeline scholtes's picture
adeline scholtes says:

water is the best i love water!!!!i 'm so going to save water now!!!!!!

posted on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 1:36pm

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