COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium received $500,000 from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for wildlife conservation in the state.
ODNR said in a release that the money will be used for facility upgrades to the Freshwater Mussel Conservation and Research Center and for conservation work to restore native amphibians and reptiles.
Freshwater mussels are Ohio's most imperiled wild animal, according to the state. Due to their at-risk status, the Columbus Zoo and other organizations have raised and released mussels into Ohio's waterways.
“We are thrilled to invest in Ohio’s wildlife and help restore populations of native wildlife,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “We are grateful for the world-renowned experts at The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium who help us to make sure animals can prosper.”
The money comes from funds ODNR received as part of a legal settlement with Monsanto Co. for damages its chemicals caused to Ohio's fish and wildlife, according to the department.