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Philadelphia Bets Millions That Restoring Mussels in the Delaware River Basin Can Improve Water Quality

May 09, 2018 |

By U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region (LassiterWondersUploaded by AlbertHerring) [CC BY 2.0 ( or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This article was originally published on State Impact.

“Freshwater mussels function as nature’s water treatment plants. Each animal can filter up to 600 gallons of water per month. Working together, they can dramatically clean the water of the rivers they live in.

But the Delaware River Basin is running out of them. And the ones left are not reproducing nearly enough. That’s about to change.

On Tuesday, the City of Philadelphia and five organizations — The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, Drexel University’s College of Arts and Sciences, The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, Independence Seaport Museum, and Bartram’s Garden — committed to create a large-scale mussel hatchery expected to bring millions of baby mussels back into the river. The facility will be part of a multi-site production and educational initiative called the Aquatic Research and Restoration Center.

The mussel hatchery, which will be located at Bartram’s Garden, already got funding from the state  — 7.9 million through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority. The hatchery, which will be owned and operated by the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, will be the world’s first that is dedicated to restoring mussel beds to promote clean water. Construction could begin next year…”

Read on at: State Impact.

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