$10 of each sale goes to American Rivers, a nonprofit organization which works to protect our wild rivers, restore damaged rivers and conserve clean water for people and nature.
Freshwater bivalves are the canaries of our American rivers. In a clean river, they fill the important role of water filtration. Three hundred of these diversely patterned and sized mussels are native to this continent. They live in clean, shaded currents in beds of fine gravel and cobble. Their larvae mature on the gills of fish, dropping back to the riverbed when they are large enough to go it alone. They sometimes grow pearls, and experienced over-hunting when the American pearl industry had its heyday in the 1800s.
They are canaries, because when runoff from industrial scale agriculture, construction sites, or roadwork pours large amounts of silt into the river, their siphons clog and they die off in great numbers. Toxic levels of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides can cause the same scale of loss.
Shade your streams--plant trees along their banks. Make sure plenty of vegetation and complex terrain can absorb the silt from your home projects. Learn about returning fertility to the soil through composts and manure, and how resilient fertile soil can make your organic plants against pests and diseases. Chemicals and fertilizers always travel toward the waterways.
12 x 16" reproduction of original watercolor and pen illustration. Ships flat.