Pennsylvania

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Environmental Regulators Fear Invasive Alga Along Delaware River

Erik Silldorf / Courtesy of Delaware River Basin Commission

Didymosphenia Geminata on a rock in the Delaware River.

Scientists with the Delaware River Basin Commission are worried about increased sightings of an invasive species known as didymo or “rock snot.” It’s not uncommon to find didymo along the Delaware River. But Erik Silldorf, an aquatic biologist with the DRBC says he just discovered a large swath of blooms extending for 40 miles.

“We knew Didymo occurred in the river,” Dr. Silldorff said in a press release, “but the spatial extent and intensity of this bloom is alarming given its potentially detrimental effect on ecosystems and the ease in which it can be spread to nearby tributaries.”

The DRBC says didymo is not a threat to public health. But its unchecked growth can crowd out other plant life in the riverbed.  The commission is urging anglers and hikers to be aware, and clean boots and fishing equipment to prevent its’ spread.

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