Three Oaks Engineering

Freshwater Mussel Surveys

The Southeastern United States has more species of freshwater mussels than anywhere else in the world.


Freshwater mussels are excellent indicators of water quality, improve water quality by filtering out pollutants, and are an important food source for wildlife. North America has more freshwater mussel species than any other continent (nearly 300) and today, due to degraded habitat and water quality, almost half of these are considered to be in some degree of peril, as either Extinct, Threatened or Endangered.

Several species are protected under the Federal Endangered Species Act, thus, any human activity that impacts potentially suitable habitat for protected mussel species could require a freshwater mussel survey.


Three Oaks Engineering has extensive experience in conducting freshwater mussel surveys for federal, state, and municipal governments as well as clients in the private sector.


Our services include presence/absence surveys, determination of suitable habitat, and inventory of mussel diversity and density. We are also experienced in the customized design of mussel relocation projects and subsequent monitoring programs. We are equipped to conduct surveys in all freshwater habitats maintaining a fleet of watercraft, SCUBA gear with the added safety and utility of full facemasks with underwater transceivers, aquatic viewing scopes and suits, and support technologies.

Through our commitment to scientifically sound protocols and report writing, our personnel have gained the respect of the scientific community and regulatory agencies involved in the protection of these ecologically important mollusks. Three Oaks Engineering has the necessary state and federal permits authorizing the collection of Threatened and Endangered mussel species throughout the mid-Atlantic and Southeastern US.