A decorative image of a forest stream.

The Land and Water Stewardship Section (LWSS) works each day across the State of Tennessee to reduce the impact of various land-use activities (e.g., development, farming, mining, etc.) on water quality. The work is accomplished by taking a voluntary approach to funding watershed restoration projects that implement best management practices (BMPs) aimed at restoring impaired watersheds and by funding educational projects that raise awareness of nonpoint source pollution locally or statewide. This work has short- and long-term positive ramifications on the health and quality of life of all Tennesseans.

Water is our most precious natural resource.  Tennessee has over 60,000 miles of streams, approximately 536,000 acres of lakes and about 787,000 acres of wetlands.  Clean water promotes public health, agriculture, manufacturing, recreation, and serves as the foundation of a healthy environment.  Through this program, and those of the many partnering agencies throughout the state, Tennesseans can reap the benefits of clean water. For more information, contact John McClurkan, Administrator, at (615) 837-5305 or john.mcclurkan@tn.gov.  You may also contact specific people through our staff directory.

Programs Administered by the LWSS

  • The Agricultural Resources Conservation Fund (ARCF) provides cost-share assistance to Tennessee landowners to reduce nonpoint source pollution through use of best management practices.
  • The Nonpoint Source Grant Program (TDA-NPS) manages the federal nonpoint source program funded by Section 319 of the Clean Water Act.
  • The Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation Program (CAFO) works in conjunction with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) to reduce  the impact to Tennessee's water resources from farms producing large numbers of livestock and/or poultry.
  • The Tennessee Soil and Water Conservation Commission promotes, among other things, practices that keep agricultural runoff out of our water bodies.

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