Mussel Power – Mussel Restoration

Mussel Power – Mussel Restoration

The Mussel Power program is a comprehensive three-part program that engages elementary and high school students throughout the watershed in freshwater mussel restoration.

During the course of the program, students investigate the lifecycle of freshwater mussels, learn about the benefits that freshwater mussels provide, and explore the unique role of mussels in the Anacostia River ecosystem.

Through this program, students are actively engaged in the restoration of two species of freshwater mussel in the Anacostia River.  Students care for juvenile mussels in their classrooms using mussels, tanks, and other materials provided by the Anacostia Watershed Society. High school students participate in real world, hands-on data collection and analysis.

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Students from Parkdale High School participate in data collection at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.

A class visit led by our trained environmental educators teaches students about the value of freshwater mussels and prepares students for two separate field trips. One field trip includes a guided boat tour of the Anacostia River; the other includes a “release day”, during which students bring their juvenile mussels to the Anacostia River! 

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Students at the Maret School act out of the lifecycle of freshwater mussels; students at School Within School @ Goding complete observational drawings of their mussels.

Program at a Glance:

  • Engages elementary and high school students from Maryland and Washington, D.C. in freshwater mussel restoration (can be adapted for other grades)
  • Offered December - March annually
  • Includes a class visit from AWS staff, a boat tour of the Anacostia River, and a “mussel release day” at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in Washington, D.C.
  • Aligned with NGSS standards for 5th grade

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Brent Elementary School students play "Rock, Paper, Scissors, Glochidia" to learn about the mussel lifecycle; Fairmont Heights High School students take in a quiet moment at Kenilworth Marsh.

More Information:

For more information about this program, please contact our Manager of Education, Chris Lemieux at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Learn more about our mussel restoration work by visiting our mussel restoration page or collection of mussel restoration blog posts.

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