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The Altamaha River



Teachers Notes

Photo Gallery of Various Mussels


A watershed, the total drainage basin of an area is defined by the topography or shape of the land governing the path that runoff follows as it moves from higher to lower elevations. The watershed includes not only the streams and rivers that flow directly into the ocean, but also wetland and dry land area over which the runoff flows. Watersheds are like a large bowl. All of the water that falls into that bowl eventually ends up at the bottom of the bowl or in the ocean.

Wetlands act like a sponge and help to regulate the amount of water moving through a watershed by holding water during wet periods and slowly releasing water during dry periods. Wetlands, whether isolated or part of an expansive system, are hydrologically important resources within the watershed.

Every one of us lives within a watershed, and every watershed eventually drains into the ocean. Through the water cycle (evaporatiop, transpiration, condensation, and precipitation), our homes and businesses are all connected to local watersheds. The water in these small local watersheds eventually reaches the ocean. Therefore, we all have an effect on our region's water quality and thus on the quality of the water that reaches our oceans.

"Mussels of the Altamaha River" is a course designed to teach ecological relationships and habitat use patterns using the mussels of the Altamaha River to show the interdependence of species for reproduction, transportation, and food. Objectives include discussion of the interdependence of all life within a watershed.
Produced under a grant by Georgia DNR Non Game Wildlife Programs by the Glynn Environmental Coalition.

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