NYC Pilot Mussels Project

Project Profile

Project: Ribbed mussel “biofiltration” structure pilot study

Project Sponsor: State Government

Location: Tidal waters of lower New England


The goal of this project was two-fold. First, it was designed to test the suitability of various materials to attract, and later support the growth of, ribbed mussel larvae. Secondly, assuming adequate recruitment and growth of same, the structures were placed at the down-stream end of a tidal creek to provide a natural, living filter to improve water quality. ER&M was tasked with reviewing the design and providing input as to constructibility. Based upon subsequent discussions, ER&M worked a fabricator to construct the re-designed structures. Afterward, ER&M was responsible for installing 5 of these structures within the designated tidal creek.

The inaccessible nature of the work, combined with special equipment needs and large tidal fluctuations, required a substantial amount of pre-planning and coordination between project partners in order for this project to be a success. As the structures were completed just after the 2011 spawning season, limited recruitment was observed the first year. With the 2012 spawning season now underway, we are just beginning to see the expected larval recruitment and anticipate a successful end result.