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Freshwater Mussels, their Role in Local Waterways on Display in Lecture and Exhibit at the Wagner Free Institute of Science

February 10, 2015

On February 26, 2015 at 6:00 PM the Wagner Free Institute of Science will host Aquatic Underdogs: How Freshwater Mussels Can Help Save our Great Waters, an illustrated presentation by Danielle Kreeger, PhD, Science Director for the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary. For this lecture, part of the Weeknights at the Wagner series, the museum at the Wagner will feature a temporary exhibit of freshwater mussels from a special collection that has never before been displayed in the museum.

Freshwater mussels are one of the most underrated and imperiled organisms in North America. Though they aren’t tasty like their marine cousins, they play a vital role in filtering waste and they have a fascinating life cycle, relying on fish and other swimmers to distribute their larvae. Due to degraded stream conditions and this dependence on other organisms, freshwater mussel populations have dwindled locally and nationally. In fact, only a few of the twelve local species identified can now be readily found in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Kreeger, who also serves as a research professor at Drexel University, is working to change that.

“We can’t fully restore the health of our waterways until we restore the freshwater mussels,” says Kreeger. “Freshwater mussels are in the spotlight nationwide, and we have a great opportunity locally to lead the discussion.”

In this lecture, Kreeger will focus on the life and role of freshwater mussels in local waterways and her organization’s research and restoration efforts. Kreeger is an ecologist with more than 30 years of experience working as a research scientist and educator. Before the lecture, the Wagner’s natural history museum will be open and will feature a temporary exhibit of select local and international bivalve specimens collected by our founder, William Wagner, and prolific 19th century conchologist Isaac Lea.

For more information please contact:

Cara Scharf
Program & Communications Manager
Wagner Free Institute of Science
215-763-6529 x 24