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Nearly 300 species of mussels inhabit fresh-water rivers, streams, and lakes in the United States. This is the richest diversity of mussels found in the world and an extraordinary natural heritage that needs protection. Because of the lustrous, pearl-like interior of the shells, some of these pearly mussels have important commercial value in the cultured pearl and jewelry industry. Our pearly mussels are of unique ecological value as natural biological filters, food for fish and wildlife, and indicators of good water quality.
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January 7, 2020