Center Works To Increase Fresh Water Mussels

 The Urban Stream Research Center is located just inside the south entrance of Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville.

The Urban Stream Research Center is located just inside the south entrance of Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville.

Just inside the south entrance of the Blackwell Forest Preserve is a small brick building that is doing some remarkable work. The Urban Stream Research Center is in its sixth year of operation, but many people have little or no idea of what goes on in the mysterious little building. Aquatic Research Center Coordinator Jessi DeMartini hopes the recent open house at the Urban Stream Research Center will answer some of those questions. Jessi walked First Light host Brian O’Keefe into the center’s lab and explained what she at the other staffers hope to accomplish.

 Tiny fresh water mussels are raised in tanks before being transferred to larger tanks where they grow to maturity.

Tiny fresh water mussels are raised in tanks before being transferred to larger tanks where they grow to maturity.

 Groups of fresh water mussels are raised and allowed to grow at the Urban Stream Research Center before eventually being released into area rivers and streams

Groups of fresh water mussels are raised and allowed to grow at the Urban Stream Research Center before eventually being released into area rivers and streams

 Tanks hold non-game fish from local rivers and streams. Mussels have a parasitic relationship with the fish that is a key part of the mollusk’s reproductive process

Tanks hold non-game fish from local rivers and streams. Mussels have a parasitic relationship with the fish that is a key part of the mollusk’s reproductive process