Life in the Watershed

Critters in Our Waterways: Meet the Freshwater Mussel

Freshwater mussels, sometimes referred to as clams, are an important part of our aquatic ecosystem. From the outside they can easily be mistaken for a rock on the bottom of the stream, sometimes partially covered in algae.   Inside the shell is where the magic happens—freshwater mussels are like miniature water filtration plants. They feed on the plankton they filter out of the water, but also filter things like bacteria and detritus, before returning clean water back to the stream. A mussel can filter up to…

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Where Do Dragonflies Go in the Winter?

As summer wanes into autumn and the cooler weather starts to roll in, what happens to the dragonflies that hatched out of our local waterways over the last few months? Well, the answer is a little bit different for each species. These insects (and many more) spend a portion of their lives in the water. Dragonflies are a good indicator of water quality as some species are more tolerant of pollution and others are very intolerant of pollution. Many aquatic…

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Early Life in the Water: Dragonflies, Mosquitos and Other Flying Insects

Did You Know…Some Flying Insects Start Their Lives in Water? Many of the insects that live in our streams, lakes, ponds and wetlands are actually the immature stages of flying insects like dragonflies, damselflies, mayflies, midges and of course, mosquitos. These insects spend the first part of their life cycle in the water before becoming flying adults. The length of time this aquatic stage lasts is dependent on the insect. Some dragonflies take 4-5 years to complete this part of…

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2021 Meeting Dates

March 25
May 27
July 22
September 23
November TBD

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Naperville, IL 60565

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