In a recent media release from the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium; They, The Iowa DNR, and City of Dubuque are inviting the community to participate in an aquatic invert survey on the Upper Bee Branch. The event takes place this Saturday, May 14th, from 1 to 4pm. Community members looking to take part can park in the public lot located at 22nd and Prince Streets in Dubuque. The actual surveying will take place along the Upper Bee Branch from Garfield to 24th Street. This will be the first survey since the completion of the new railroad culverts and improved connectivity of the upper and lower portions of the creek.

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The survey at the Upper Bee Branch is to count, measure, and survey a number of aquatic species, including varieties of fish, amphibians, and mussels. Anyone volunteering will be trained when they arrive and should wear shoes that can get wet and comfortable clothing. There is no registration required, so just show up and help if you’d like.

Northern Leopard Frog floating at the surface of the water.
Photo Credit: Paul Reeves Photography
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The groups involved in this survey, the Iowa DNR, City of Dubuque, and National Mississippi River Museum, are eager to better understand what new species have found their way from the Mississippi River to the Upper Bee Branch since the last survey was completed.

A close up of a Bog Turtle in New England
Photo Credit: Jason Ondreicka
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The Bee Branch Creek Restoration replaced about a mile of storm sewer with a creek and floodplain resembling the original cityscape from approximately 100 years ago. This renewal and revitalization of the buried Bee Branch Creek, in an area of Dubuque formally known as “Frogtown,” allows storm water from flash flooding events to safely move through the area without flooding adjacent properties. Although providing protection from flash flooding was the primary goal of this project; designers and City of Dubuque leadership recognized an opportunity to bring wildlife and a green space back to a mostly urban area of the local community.

A northern dusky salamander climbing over a mossy stone.
Photo Credit: Jason Ondreicka
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For more information on this survey and other volunteer opportunities, contact Jared McGovern, Curator of Conservation Programs for the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium. Jared will be starting his survey work at 1 pm near the Rhomberg Bridge of the Bee Branch and is available that day for questions or comments. Any and all other information regarding the River Museum can be found at rivermuseum.com.

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