Aquatic Conservation

Invertebrates live in every type of aquatic habitat, from streams and seeps to marshes and lakes. Aquatic invertebrates such as stoneflies, mayflies, mussels, and midges play critical roles in sustaining healthy aquatic ecosystems, and are at the center of the aquatic food web. The winged adult forms of many aquatic insects also provide a huge amount of the food for terrestrial birds, bats, and reptiles. Aquatic invertebrates and the habitats that sustain them are seriously imperiled. In the United States, over half of the wetlands that existed in the 1600s have been lost, and a recent nationwide stream survey found pesticides or their degradates in all the streams sampled. The Aquatic Conservation program works to protect aquatic invertebrates and the ecosystems that sustain them.

Current Projects

Learn more and get involved with the Aquatic Conservation projects.

Our Work

Check out some of the work the aquatic team has been doing!

Upcoming Events

Mussel Re-colonization Monitoring – Portland, OR

August 8th, 2016 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM Westmoreland Park Portland, OR

Freshwater mussels are the most at-risk animals in the U.S. and are an important (and protected) component of northwest streams and rivers. Mussels benefit streams and fish by improving water quality, they are food for a variety of mammals and birds, and mussel beds provide habitat for other stream inhabitants. You are invited to join the Xerces Society and the Crystal Springs Partnership to spend a fun-filled day in the stream to conduct surveys for freshwater mussels in the restored reaches at Westmoreland Park. Please join us for this engaging and informative event to investigate the effects of improved fish habitat on native mussels and assess the rate of re-colonization following restoration activities. No prior experience is required.

Registration for this event is now closed. The registration limit has been met.


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Contact Us

Email us with your questions and comments about the Aquatic Program.

Questions about the Migratory Dragonfly Partnership or dragonflies? Email us here.

Aquatic Conservation
Take Action!
Dragonfly Pond Watch

Contribute your local dragonfly sightings to this Migratory Dragonfly Partnership (MDP) citizen science project. Learn more.

Identification Guides
Field Guide for Migratory Dragonflies

Download the MDP field guide and view additional Xerces guides to identify stream and wetland invertebrates. Click here.

Stonefly (Isoperla sp.) by David Funk.
Common Green Darner by Walter Chadwick.
Western Freshwater Mussels and Biomonitor Volunteer by Celeste Mazzacano.