More graphic evidence of the damage that invasive species can do is on display right now at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore on Lake Michigan. It is awash in decaying algae blooms.
Filter-feeding zebra and quagga mussels have increased clarity so much that sunlight can penetrate much deeper and, thus, generate more algae growth. Then, with cloud cover and cooler water at the end of summer, the blooms die and wash ashore.
"This is the worst I’ve ever seen this beach -- and I’ve been coming here for 50 years. It’s really sad," said Ron Long, a Milford resident who was visiting the popular Esch Road beach near Empire.