Yates Mill Aquatic Conservation Laboratory


The Yates Mill Aquatic Conservation Laboratory (YMACL) is located at Wake County’s Historic Yates Mill County Park. Funding for the renovation and operation of the facility came from a legal settlement over the construction of the southern portion of I-540, which impacted habitats of imperiled aquatic species. This portion of the highway project crossed over Swift Creek (Neuse River Basin), which holds three federally listed freshwater mussels, one federally endangered fish species, and one federally threatened salamander. Our mission is to help conserve these species and others like them in the state through research, propagation, and education.

In total, the facility consists of approximately 4,400 ft2 of both indoor and outdoor research and production space. An additional 800 ft2 pump house was erected on site capable of delivering up to 400 gallons per minute of flow from the adjacent mill pond filtered down to 25 microns and also similarly filtering and ultraviolet sterilizing the outflow from the facility. Besides the primary wet lab, an additional classroom, office, and laboratory for in vitro mussel propagation will allow for a variety of research and educational opportunities. Our location at a county park provides opportunities for outreach and education to both the K-12 student population, as well as citizens of the state on the value of these organisms.