METAIRIE, Louisiana (WDSU) -- Bright pink clusters that are being found in local waterways have many wondering whether they're harmful.
"I've never seen this stuff before. I never knew what it was," said Glenn Olivier, who wonders what the pink clusters are that have formed along a West Esplanade canal. "I thought they were some type of caterpillar or some type of eggs."
Researchers said they are channeled apple snail eggs, which carry a toxin that can cause serious health issues. The species is native to Central and South America; however, they have made their way into local waterways.
"It's been about one year, less than a year, that I've seen them and they're getting worse," Olivier said.
Dr. Martin O'Connell, Director of the Nekton Research Laboratory at the University of New Orlean's Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences, said it's likely the snails were introduced to the area by being released from someone's aquarium.