Building on shared values and our region’s environmental progress, the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary and Bartram’s Garden are collaborating to build a new Freshwater Mussel Hatchery and Ecosystems Education Center. The complex will be located on previously developed land at Bartram’s Garden on the Tidal Schuylkill River in Southwest Philadelphia.


Rendering of the Mussel Hatchery & Ecosystems Education CenterRendering of the Mussel Hatchery & Ecosystems Education Center


This project is the first of its kind worldwide, where students and neighbors alike can engage in hands-on discovery amidst the real-time, cutting-edge science of sustainable watershed restoration.

The hatchery will produce up to 500,000 mussels each year, to be seeded in local streams, ponds, and stormwater basins. Each adult mussel can filter up to 10 gallons of water a day and live up to 100 years. In addition to the hatchery’s extraordinary impact on the health and stewardship of our region’s waterways, the corresponding ecosystems education center will provide unparalleled hands-on opportunities for K–12 environmental education, beginning with the 9,000 students who visit Bartram’s Garden each year, and for public education for all visitors.



The new facilities will incorporate world-class watershed science with locally rooted community priorities, ensuring the long-term health of our regional waterways as well as hands-on, inclusive opportunities for learning and inspiration for a new generation of leaders, scientists, advocates, and neighbors.



Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program
Community Projects Funding through the Consolidated Appropriations Act
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under an Assistance Agreement funded by the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
Exelon and Museum of Science and Industry Green Lab Grant
Klein-Paul Fund
The Bellwether District, an HRP Project



Bartram’s Garden






EPA Awards $1.8 million to the Delaware Estuary Program including support for mussel hatchery at Philadelphia’s Bartram’s Garden  – EPA, April 13, 2023

Congresswoman Scanlon Announces $925,000 in Federal Funding for Ecosystems Education Center and Mussel Hatchery at Bartram’s Garden –, June 6, 2022

PDE’s Mussel Hatchery Plans Taking Shape – Estuary News, March 2022

Bartram’s Garden Receives $2.6 Million Grant From Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program – CBS Philly, Feb 2022

Half a million mussels to be hatched yearly at Bartram’s Garden – The Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan 2019

Planned multi-million-dollar mussel hatchery meant to improve water quality – Delaware Public Media, Jan 2019

Freshwater mussel hatchery at Bartram’s Gardens aims to provide natural filter for Pa. rivers, streams – WHYY, Jan 2019

PDE and Partners Lay Groundwork for Research Partnership – Estuary News, August 2018


Learn More

Freshwater Mussels
Mussels for Clean Water Initiative
What Lies Beneath? Signature Species of the Delaware Estuary. Part 1, Freshwater Mussels




To learn more about providing financial support to this transformative project, contact Elizabeth Horsey, Director of Development at