Freshwater Mussel Survey at Arcadia University

Julie Slavet
Jul 10, 2012

Recently, volunteers met at Arcadia University to survey a section of the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford creek for freshwater mussels. While we didn’t find any freshwater mussels, we did find oyster shells, tennis balls, and a variety of interesting aquatic species. Dr. Christopher Binckley shared his knowledge with us as we observed these species, including salamanders, macroinvertebrates, fish, and mosquitoes. Our data will be reported to the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, and will be collected with data from other streams in the area.

The Delaware River Basin was once home to over a dozen species of freshwater mussels. However, only one species is readily found today, and only in a few areas. These animals are valuable because each one filters up to 10 gallons of water per day, removing pollutants that would otherwise necessitate expensive water treatments. They also protect streambeds from washing away and provide food and increase the Delaware River Basin’s habitat value.

The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary (PDE) is spearheading a project to determine where once abundant mussel beds still exist in order to facilitate the restoration efforts for these important animals. As part of this project, the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership (TTF) is in the process of surveying five miles of stream in our watershed to determine the presence or absence of mussels. This is a fun and educational opportunity that anyone can do! Please contact Steph Clymer at if you are interested in volunteering to support this fun and educational summer volunteer opportunity. Check out our website for upcoming mussel surveying activities. We look forward to hearing from you!

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