Downtown Concierge

Inside 43215: Moving Mussels


inside 43215


Downtown Columbus

Nope, this is not a piece about New Year's resolutions. Besides, we know the difference between muscles and mollusks. We found out that a whole bunch of volunteers got together to relocate mussels from the Scioto River during the beginning of the Scioto Greenway Project. This project transforms downtown Columbus along the Scioto River, and we landed some pics and deets. Hmmm, wonder if the mussels received handsome relocation packages.

So, you might have heard a thing or two about the Scioto Greenway Project... something about removing a dam and restoring a river?

The low head dam at Main Street was removed to make room for big-time river restoration, and we mean big time - people will soon enjoy 33 acres of beeeeeautiful downtown green space along the banks of the Scioto. An undertaking like this required huge private-public partnership.

During one of the first phases, Ohio EPA, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio DOT, OSU, and Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed rounded up a host of volunteers to relocate the mussels so they wouldn't shiver their way through winter on a dry riverbank during the massive restoration. Volunteers found new homes for these mighty mollusks all around the city. Some found new homes in the Olentangy, while others went to college (well, sort of). They were relocated to a joint research facility with the Columbus Zoo and The Ohio State University.

Mussels will return naturally once the project is complete, and you'll likely notice many other wildlife species hanging out along the acres and acres of green space and in the healthier river.

For those who have a hard time imagining what 33 acres of park will look like when it's complete, the peeps at the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation created snazzy before and soon-to-be-after images.