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Tennessee Healthy Watershed Initiative Announces $458,000 in Funding For New Projects

Friday, May 16, 2014 | 04:30am

Five Innovative Projects Designed to Gain Knowledge, Protect, and Improve Tennessee’s Waters

Nashville, Tenn. — The Tennessee Healthy Watershed Initiative announced today its plans to fund five new watershed improvement and protection projects, with a focus on new innovation and community-based initiatives.  Today’s announced funding of $458,000 is in addition to the THWI’s support for its 11 previously funded projects. With the inclusion of today’s announced funding, the total investment by the THWI in these 16 projects amounts to $1,391,407. Projects will support several strategic investment areas of the Tennessee Healthy Watershed Initiative, and the projects will be implemented across the state beginning August 2014 through December 2016.

"With this latest round of funding, the Tennessee Healthy Watershed Initiative continues to demonstrate the power of this partnership to advance our stewardship of freshwater resources," said Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau. "The program has already delivered needed improvements to streams and wetlands across the state, from Memphis to the Clinch River. The five newly funded projects will further our knowledge about healthy freshwater systems and help deliver better water quality to Tennesseans for the future."

Launched in August 2011, the Tennessee Healthy Watershed Initiative is a partnership among the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the Tennessee Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and the West Tennessee River Basin Authority (WTRBA).  The initiative’s primary goal is to maintain and improve water resources across the state by bringing together the public, landowners, resource management agencies, and conservation-focused organizations to promote communication, collaboration, and thoughtful water resources planning.

“As stewards of the Tennessee River watershed, we recognize the importance of water quality, and we applaud these efforts to improve it,” said Rebecca Tolene, Vice President, Natural Resources and Real Property Services at TVA. “Maintaining a healthy river system is critical for TVA and directly impacts the quality of life in the Valley. We make more of difference when we work together.”

For the five newly funded projects, the total funding of $458,000 is being matched with in-kind leverage estimated at $527,283.

The applicants and projects announced today include:

Austin Peay State University (Middle TN, Applicable Throughout)

Determinations of the Currently Unknown Composition and Structure of Algae Assemblages in Middle Tennessee Streams Needed to Document and Monitor the Effects of Water Quality - $20,000 (In-kind Leverage: $7,443)

The Nature Conservancy, Virginia Chapter (East Tennessee)

Clinch Powell Clean Rivers Initiative-Enhancing Multi-Agency Coordination for Conservation Impacts Phase II - $100,000 (In-kind Leverage: $166,500)

University of Tennessee Knoxville (East Tennessee, Applicable Throughout)

Regenerative Stormwater Conveyances: An Innovative Watershed Management Tool for Tennessee -$113,000 (In-kind Leverage: $168,338)

University of Tennessee Knoxville (Applicable Throughout)

Enhancing widespread water quantity and quality control though implementation and dissemination of the Tennessee Runoff Reduction Assessment Tool (RRAT) to assist in the design and evaluation of runoff reduction Low Impact Development (LID) practices - $90,000 (In-kind Leverage: $30,002)

West Tennessee River Basin Authority (West Tennessee, Applicable Throughout West TN)

Bailey Fork Creek Floodplain Restoration to Reduce Valley-Plug Expansion and Restore Bottomland Hardwood Forests - $135,000 (In-kind Leverage: $155,000)

In addition to the five projects announced today, the Tennessee Healthy Watershed Initiative would like to share that it recently embarked on the development of a Healthy Watershed Assessment computer program in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

This computer assessment tool will enhance the communication, collaboration, and thoughtful water resources planning of the partner organizations in the THWI. Tennessee will be the 4th state to partner with the EPA’s Healthy Watershed Initiative to develop this tool, which will allow the THWI to evaluate watersheds across Tennessee to determine which areas can benefit most in the long term from freshwater protection efforts. Please see EPA’s website for more information and an example of California’s Healthy Watershed Assessment http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/nps/watershed/index.cfm.

To learn more about the Tennessee Healthy Watershed Initiative and for a detailed summary of today’s projects and those funded to date, please visit https://www.tn.gov/environment/water/water_tn-healthy-watershed-initiative.shtml.

 

 

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