MUSCATINE, IA – The Friends of Fairport Fish Hatchery has been awarded $47,368 REAP-CEP grant from the Iowa Department of Natural Friends Of Fairport Fish Hatchery Awarded Grant From Iowa Natural ResourcesResources to fund educational signage to preserve and interpret the rich history of the Fairport Fish Hatchery.

A major objective of the signage project is to convey the important interdependent relationship between the Fairport Fish Hatchery, Mississippi River mussels, and the pearl button industry, which dominated Muscatine from the 1890s to the early 1930s.  The hatchery was originally established by Congress in 1908 as the Fairport Federal Biologic Station to investigate mussel propagation in the Mississippi River to build sustainability for the pearl button industry.  The original laboratory building was opened in 1914 along with a small village of cottages to house staff and visiting dignitaries. The educational signage will also focus on the various human impacts that precipitated the decline of mussels from the river. An important aspect of the proposed signs is the use of QR Codes which will allow students and other visitors to access additional background information online through their cell phones. Ultimately, the goal of the project is to educate students of all ages … on site and virtually … and to promote ecotourism to Muscatine County.

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Friends Of Fairport Fish Hatchery Awarded Grant From Iowa Natural Resources
Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.