By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Volunteers are on the lookout along local streams, for a threatened species of shellfish.

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The search is on for freshwater mussels. The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary is training school kids and volunteers to spot mussels in area streams.

Program Instructor Lisa Wool says pollution has reduced mussel populations, and re-establishing them is key to maintaining healthy streams.

“A good freshwater mussel can clean 10 gallons of water per day. So you could imagine, if you take a whole bed of these mussels, the work they can do to help improve the streams.”

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Ashley Schmid of the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership helped to train students last week at the Cedarbrook Middle School in Wyncote.

“I think for students, it’s a great opportunity, anytime you can connect something that you do as part of your classroom work to real-world activities.”

The students scanned Rock Creek in Wyncote for signs of mussels.

Students report their findings to an online database to help scientists identify where they should target their mussel replenishment efforts.

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