Conservation Conversations text.

Conservation Conversation: Native and Invasive Mussels in the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers

Presented by the Michigan Conservation Stewards Program (CSP)
in partnership with the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge Science Lecture Series
Thursday, April 6, 2023
6-8 p.m., ET

Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge
John D. Dingell Jr. Visitor Center
5437 West Jefferson Ave.
Trenton, MI 48183

5:30 p.m.: check-in, refreshments, and educational table displays
6 - 7:15 p.m.: presentation
7:15 p.m.: Q/A & discussion with Shay Keretz; educational table displays; refreshments

Join the MSU Extension Conservation Stewards Program for "Conservation Conversations. "Featured topics focus on current research and management approaches, unique natural communities, and the diverse conservation partnerships involved in supporting Michigan ecosystems. During this event, there will be time for light refreshments as well as Q and A and discussion with guest speaker, Shay Keretz. Participants will also have an opportunity to visit with invited local conservation organizations to find out about the work they are doing including upcoming events, and how they can get involved in local conservation efforts. MSU Extension staff will also have information about the 2023 Michigan Conservation Stewards Program as well as a variety of other natural resource-oriented programs and upcoming events. 

April 6th Talk & Description: Native mussels, or unionids, were thought to be extirpated from the Detroit and St. Clair rivers following the invasion of Zebra and Quagga mussels (dreissenids). However, these rivers were recently surveyed for unionid and dreissenid mussels and live unionids were found, though they were sparsely distributed. Data collected from both rivers and MaxEnt, an ecological modeling program, were then used to create distribution models for the mussels which will hopefully contribute towards unionid conservation and management in the future. 

Speaker Biography:
Shay S. Keretz is an Arizona native working towards a degree in aquatic ecology in the Earth and Ecosystem Sciences PhD program at Central Michigan University. Her dissertation project focuses on creating species distribution models for both native and invasive mussels. Over the years, her academic journey has taken her across the United States, from an undergraduate degree at Northern Arizona University to her master's degree at Mississippi State University. She moved to Ohio in 2018 and started her degree at Central Michigan University 2019. Some of her research interests include spatial distribution modeling, aquatic species and habitat conservation, invasive species, pathology, physiology, and environmental policy. Her favorite fish is the Brook Trout and my favorite mussel is the Mapleleaf. 

Who should attend this "Conservation Conversation" event?   

  • Anyone interested in nature who want to learn more about natural communities and conservation efforts in Michigan

  • Individuals who have previously completed the Michigan Conservation Stewards Program interested in continuing their learning and networking/connecting with other alumni.  Registration for Conservation Steward participants is free.

  • Natural resource professionals who want to build their knowledge on ecosystem-based management principles

  • Individuals who want to learn more about the Michigan Conservation Steward Program as well as other MSU/MSU Extension programs and events being offered in 2023 

  • Those who want to learn about area conservation organizations and their local conservation efforts, including upcoming programs and events  

To see the complete 2023 schedule for the other 2023 "Conservation Conversations" in-person talks,  

To learn more about the Michigan Conservation Stewards Program, visit:

If you would like to receive information about future CSP offerings, sign up here.


Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting the event contact two weeks prior to the start of the event. Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible.

Contact Information

For questions about this event, contact Bindu Bhakta at
For questions about registering for this event, contact Cathy Morris at