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Skip Navigation LinksDNREC : News : Nanticoke Musselwatchers program set to launch Saturday, May 7 as part of Reclaim Our River Series

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Contact: Phil Miller, DNREC Watershed Assessment and Management Section 302-739-9939

Nanticoke Musselwatchers program set to launch Saturday, May 7 as part of Reclaim Our River series sponsored by DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship

DOVER (April 29, 2016) – With DNREC sponsorship through the Division of Watershed Stewardship, the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance (NWA) will launch a new citizen science and water quality improvement program, Nanticoke Musselwatchers,  with an organizational meeting from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Saturday, May 7 at the Seaford District Library, 600 N. Market Street Ext., Seaford, DE 19973. 

The goal of the Musselwatchers program is  assessing the status of freshwater mussels in the Nanticoke River watershed. Freshwater mussels serve as filter feeders and are capable of filtering a liter of water in about 45 minutes, thus providing a crucial ecosystem service. However, mussels are highly sensitive to pollution, especially excessive sediment.  

Volunteers will learn about freshwater mussels and species found most often in the Nanticoke  watershed, and how to conduct  mussel surveys in the watershed. They also will receive survey kits and adopt segments of Delaware’s portion of the watershed. Volunteers must commit to conducting at least four surveys during the May-September pilot season and to providing feedback about the program. 

The Nanticoke Musselwatchers Program is a part of the 2016 Reclaim Our River (ROR) series, a partnership including the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance, DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship and the Delaware Nature Society. The ROR partnership is devoted to bringing monthly events, workshops, and recreational activities to the Nanticoke River Watershed. The series offers participants fun opportunities to connect with Delaware’s waterways and provides important information on water quality that can help in protecting aquatic resources. More information at

Participation in this program is limited to 25 Musselwatchers and, for safety reasons, volunteers must work in teams of no fewer than two people. Prospective volunteers must pre-register at or may contact Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator Beth Wasden at or at 443-944-1175 for more information about the program.

The Nanticoke Watershed Alliance is a consensus-building organization that supports partnerships to conserve the natural, cultural and recreational resources of the Nanticoke River watershed. Partnership representation includes local citizens, academia, industry, agriculture, development professionals, conservation groups and government.

Vol. 46, No. 158

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