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Report: Could Shrimp-Like Creature Be (New) Hold-Up for Purple Line?

Is a little crustacean powerful enough to stop the Purple Line?

The proposed Purple Line's path between Bethesda and New Carrollton. Credit: Courtesy of the Maryland Transit Administration.
The proposed Purple Line's path between Bethesda and New Carrollton. Credit: Courtesy of the Maryland Transit Administration.
The next big hold-up for the planned Purple Line could be only half a centimeter in length, The Washington Post and ABC 7 reported.

It's the Hay's Spring amphipod, a little, eyeless, colorless, shrimp-like crustacean found in Rock Creek in Northwest Washington, DC, and some environmentalists say it also could be in the creek in Montgomery County, ABC 7 reported. 

It is believed that the only home in the world of this rare little creature—a federally protected endangered species whose presence indicates good water quality—is in Rock Creek Park, The Post reported. 

The proposed Purple Line, which is planned to connect Bethesda to New Carrollton via a light rail line, would pass through Rock Creek Park in Montgomery County.

"John M. Fitzgerald, a Chevy Chase resident and lawyer, said he and other environmentalists are contemplating a lawsuit to require the Maryland Transit Administration to consider a light-rail line’s impact on the animal," The Post added.

No mention of the Hay's Spring amphipod was made in the final environmental impact study for the Purple Line—the comment period for which closed on Oct. 21, 2013—The Post reported.

>>>Read more about the little creature—and how it could impact the Purple Line—on the websites of The Post and ABC 7.

Many local residents (including Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail) are against the building of the Purple Line in its proposed path in part because the rail would replace mature trees along part of the Capital Crescent Trail (which follows an abandoned set of railroad tracks).
Robert Curry December 05, 2013 at 10:58 AM
If thos is truly the ONLY place these animals exist,i wonder just how important they really are? Will their demise, should that occur, have any noticable/significant repercussions? I feel that the importance of any thing needs to be weighed in determining if extraordinary measures should be used to preserve it, not just the fact that it is scarce or unique! It seems very likely that this creature, if it still exists, has very little ecological significance, and is merely being used as a pawn by those against the project, wasting much time and money while their concerns are evaluated! (perhaps the BIG mistake was not keeping the railroad right-of-way cleared, and preventing the growth of the trees that seem to be the REAL concern!)
jag December 05, 2013 at 11:44 AM
Opponents are really scrapping the bottom of the barrel in their attempts to muck things up in court. It's embarrassing. You're against the project - we get it - we heard your arguments and the majority of people are still for it. Deal with it.

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