Freshwater mussels in the Apalachicola Basin are largely misunderstood by the general public, but Dr. Michael Gangloff’s recent presentation at Apalachicola Riverkeeper’s annual membership meeting highlights the many reasons why mussels can be appreciated. They have incredible diversity and life histories, they are good indicators of water quality, and they are ecologically important. And the abundance of mussels in the river system are on the rise since dredging was halted in 2002, even though many species are still imperiled.
A member of Apalachicola Riverkeeper’s Slough Restoration Project team, Dr. Gangloff is Associate Professor of Biology at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. He has been working with freshwater mussels in the Apalachicola Basin for more than 20 years and first began working on the Apalachicola main stem in 2005. He has worked with the Army Corps of Engineers, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Apalachicola Riverkeeper on projects designed to document the abundance and habitat use of freshwater mussels in this unique river system. Dr. Gangloff continues this important work as part of Apalachicola Riverkeeper’s Slough Restoration Project.