North America has the most diverse population of freshwater mussels in the world. There are roughly 300 species. But almost 40 have gone extinct in recent history. The presence of one kind of endangered freshwater mussel is delaying projects to restore parts of the Grand River in West Michigan.
To find out more, I meet up with Heidi Dunn and her two-man crew at Riverside Park in Grand Rapids. They’re hunting for a beloved endangered animal - well, an endangered mussel – that Dunn loves.
“They’re not the charismatic megafauna. You know, like eagles and bears and other things like that. These are not warm cuddly fuzzies. They’re biological rocks,” Dunn said.