Since the discovery of veined rapa whelks Rapana vensoa in the lower Chesapeake Bay by VIMS scientists in 1998, the VIMS Molluscan Ecology program has and continues to conduct research on the biology, ecology, and physiology of rapa whelks in the lower Chesapeake Bay to better understand the ecological impacts of this animal on the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. The rapa whelk bounty program is an integral part of our sampling program and the progress that VIMS scientists have made thus far in documenting the range of the rapa whelk in the Chesapeake Bay is directly related to the involvement of local citizens including watermen and educators.
After the rapa whelk CD-ROM, Veined rapa whelks: Aliens in the Chesapeake, became available in 2003, many educators began requesting hands-on, data-based exercises and video or photographic resources to help communicate rapa whelk and invasion biology information with their students. The Rapa Resources Program was born of these requests. All of the materials herein are tied to national science and education standards as well as specific Virginia Math, Life Science, and Biology Standards of Learning.
This web site provides material that will help educators teach their students about rapa whelk biology and the potential ecological and economic impacts of rapa whelks in the Chesapeake Bay and in any habitat that might face a rapa whelk introduction.