Each individual mussel can filter up to 11 liters of river water per day, according to Racey.
“Fifty million would be able to filter over 200 Olympic-sized swimming pools,” she said.
In addition, she said the mussels help stabilize the sediment on the river bottom and they serve as an important source of food for fish and wildlife.
Racey said the wetlands serve as habitat for fish, frogs, birds and they also act as buffers for flooding.
Aquatic vegetation also absorbs nutrients and reduces erosion, according to Racey.
GE did some remediation including constructing new wetlands through placing backfill material, seeding and putting in new vegetation beds. However, she said it has not worked effectively to restore the environment.
“Monitoring has indicated that many of these resources are not recovering as planned and they’ll take really decades to reach pre-dredging conditions,” she said.
Racey said the next step is to quantify injuries and identify potential restoration. Work will continue to identify any other impacts.
Federal law says that the public should be compensated when the cleanup of hazardous substances in the environment causes natural resource injury and that is what the trustees are trying to do.