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Muscatine News

Posted on: November 7, 2019

History, future of "Mussels of Muscatine" to be discussed

Mussels of Muscatine Header 2 (JPG)

MUSCATINE, Iowa – The City of Muscatine is joining forces with The Nature Conservancy, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the National Pearl Button Museum for a discussion on the history and future of “Mussels of Muscatine” and the ongoing efforts to bring back the mussels to the river beds of the Mississippi River.

Mussels of Muscatine Flier (JPG)

The program will be held from 5-8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 14, at the National Pearl Button Museum located in Downtown Muscatine. The event is free to the public.


Among the presenters will be Scott Gritters, Andy Fowler, and Melanie Harkness of the Iowa DNR, Jon Koch, Water Resource and Recovery Facility Director for the City of Muscatine, and Terry Eagle, Director of the National Pearl Button Museum located inside the Muscatine History and Industry Center.


“Our group (Muscatine Mussels) strives to take an amazing American growth story (the pearl button industry), identify the mistakes made in managing the dwindled mussel resource, and turn that story around into a modern day effort of water clarity initiatives,” Hannah Howard, Community Engagement Specialist for The Nature Conservancy, said.


The main focus is to rehabilitate the Iowa DNR Fairport Fish Hatchery in order to reestablish populations of mussels into the Mississippi River, and promote water quality advances along the Mississippi River and beyond.


Among the topics to be discussed will be the history of mussels in Muscatine, the ecological and importance of mussels, the history and future of the Fairport Fish Hatchery, and the City of Muscatine’s commitment to clean water.


Agenda for meeting:


  • 5:00 to 5:30 pm Refreshments, exhibits
  • 5:30 to 5:40 pm Welcome, Muscatine Mussels mission, evening’s program (10 min)
    • Hannah Howard, The Nature Conservancy
  • 5:40 to 6:10 pm History of Mussels in Muscatine (30 min)
    • Terry Eagle, National Pearl Button Museum
  • 6:10 to 6:40 pm Ecology and Importance of Mussels (30 min)
    • Scott Gritters, Iowa DNR
  • 6:40 to 7:10 pm History of the Fairport Fish Hatchery (30 min)
    • Melanie Harkness, Iowa DNR
  • 7:10 to 7:30 pm Future of the Fairport Fish Hatchery (20 min)
    • Andy Fowler, Iowa DNR
  • 7:30 to 7:55 pm City of Muscatine’s Commitment to Clean Water (25 min)
    • Jon Koch, City of Muscatine
  • 7:55 to 8:00 pm Event wrap up and Closing Remarks (5 min)
    • Hannah Howard, The Nature Conservancy


Press Release (PDF)
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