Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



The diverse zooplankton found in marine and estuarine waters serves an important role in food chains, converting phytoplankton and detrital material into protein rich animal tissues necessary in the nutrition of higher life forms, such as the young stages of decapod crustaceans and fishes. Generally free-floating or only weak swimmers, zooplankters are readily entrained in cooling waters pumped into power plants.

Mortality of entrained organisms can be caused by mechanical abrasion, the length of time and amplitude of temperature increases during plant passage, and from chlorination of the system for fouling control. Estimates of the percent of mortality due to plant passage are difficult to obtain, however, because of the many variables that need to be taken into account.

This project was designed to examine several of these variables as they apply to entrained zooplankton at the VEPCO Surry plant.


Zooplankton -- Chesapeake Bay (Md. and Va.), Zooplankton -- Virginia -- James River Estuary