We, the Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware, have lived in this area for millennia. Despite colonization since the 17th century, we have maintained our indigenous perspective and been stewards of our ancestral lands. However, our land and waters are sick, they have been dumping grounds for chemical and agricultural wastes, and invasive species have strangled many of our native plants.
Our mussel project intends to reintroduce freshwater mussels into the Fork Branch Creek, at the edge of our Lenape Forest Garden (5200 W Denneys Rd, Dover DE). We will do this by bridging formal science education with informal science education, by integrating our traditional, indigenous wisdom regarding environmental stewardship with modern aquatic science technology in an effort to restore our ancestral Leipsic River watershed.
We’re just getting started with this with a grant from National Geographic, led by Jon Cox of ACEER and our team of Simon James and Gardenia (Stephen Clark). If you’re a Tribal member, please contact Gardenia to participate. We’ll have updates in March 2022. Stay tuned!
In the meanwhile, you can learn what other groups are doing to bring back freshwater mussels to the Delaware Bay, because healthy mussels filter and purify our water!
Mussels Clean Water Initiative — http://delawareestuary.org/science-and-research/mussels-clean-water-initiative-mucwi/
- 2022 — Delaware Estuary — PDE’s Mussel Hatchery Plans Taking Shape
- 2021 — https://www.brandywine.org/conservancy/blog/everything-you-ever-needed-know-about-freshwater-mussels-pa
- 2021 — https://www.cbf.org/news-media/newsroom/2021/pennsylvania/livers-of-our-rivers-could-help-clean-up-pennsylvania-rivers.html
- 2018 — https://www.tpomag.com/online_exclusives/2018/07/philadelphia-is-using-mussels-as-mini-treatment-plants
- 2018 — https://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/2018/05/02/philadelphia-bets-millions-that-restoring-mussels-in-the-delaware-river-basin-can-improve-water-quality/
- 2017 — https://www.inquirer.com/philly/entertainment/arts/Mussel-mania-comes-to-Fairmount-Water-Works.html