Duck River Opportunities Project (DROP)
Duck River Opportunities Project
Wins Stewardship Award!
The 2009 Governor's Environmental Stewardship Award For Excellence In Aquatics Resource Preservation was awarded to DROP for its outstanding contributions to the preservation, restoration and educational promotion of Tennessee's natural resources and environmental welfare.
The Tennessee Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards are the most prestigious environmental and conservation awards in the state. For over 20 years, the awards have been presented to individuals and organizations that make great contributions to the conservation of our wildlife and related natural resources, the natural elements upon which all life depends.
TSRA wishes to also proudly recognize the outstanding service and dedication of John McFadden, the founder and director of DROP since its inception in 1999, and Marshall Spencer, Chair of DROP.
to read more about the Stewardship Awards.
Bank Stabilization Continues on Grassy Branch Creek in Spring Hill
On Saturday June 19, 2010 the Tennessee Environmental Council’s Executive Director John McFadden and Duck River Coordinator Kevin Burke worked with 9 volunteers to install approximately 150 feet of cedar revetments along the banks of Grassy Branch Creek. The creek has been altered from the flooding that occurred during the first weekend of the May 2010. Previous work had to be repaired and reinforced. Once that was done we moved on to a new area downstream.
The cedar revetments are made up of small cedar trees wrapped in coir matting. The revetments slow water velocity, thereby reducing erosion. The revetments also provide a structure for soil and debris to collect and promote plant growth along the bank. The roots of the newly established shrubs help to filter runoff entering the creek after rainfall. 40% to 60% of all non-point source pollution in rivers and streams is caused by silt and sedimentation. The cedar revetments help to reduce these percentages.
The work on Grassy Branch Creek is essential to providing clean water for the Duck River Watershed. Clean water is not only important for drinking but also promotes a healthy environment. Sightings of crayfish, minnows, bullfrog, and snakes are encouraging signs of a productive ecosystem. Due to generous funding from the GM Spring Hill plant, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (non-point source pollution division), the TWRA, and the EPA, the Duck River Project can continue this work. The Wyngate homeowner’s association and the City of Spring Hill’s Codes department also provide much needed support to see these natural resources restored and protected for future generations.
What is the Duck River Opportunities Project?
The Duck River Opportunities Project (DROP) began in December of 1999 with the intent to identify and abate nonpoint source (NPS) water pollution in the Duck River watershed. DROP identifies and abates water quality degradation through the implementation of best management practices (BMPs). BMPs includes short-term control measures such as the placement of hay bales, silt fences and rock check dams, and long-term activities designed to promote the natural functioning of the land such as riparian reforestation and stream bank stabilization. The project includes the following phases, 1) initial assessment, 2) best management practice implementation and 3) follow-up assessment.
Who are the people and organizations involved in the Duck River Opportunities Project?
TSRA’s Duck River Opportunities Project is sponsored by Saturn Corporation. Together, TSRA and Saturn are committed to a common goal: working with local communities, agencies, volunteers, and experts to improve water quality and provide education within the Duck River watershed.
How are the goals of the Duck River Opportunities Project carried out?
DROP uses three main functions to achieve its goals: monitoring, restoration, and education.
Experts and local volunteers sample water quality and assess habitat to document existing conditions and identify opportunities for water quality improvement projects. By sampling the freshwater insects and the water chemistry, we can determine the quality of the water. TSRA provides training to local educators, public and private organizations, landowners, and others by using state of the art techniques, and by providing equipment to partners who monitor twice per year or more. All of this is accomplished through the generous contributions of Saturn Corporation: http://www.saturn.com/
The Duck River Project works with landowners, volunteers, and government agencies to address water quality improvement opportunities and implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) in the Duck River watershed with the goal of long-term water quality enhancement. Using volunteer water quality monitoring data, DROP can focus on specific sites for improvement.
TSRA's Duck River Opportunities Project works with local educators, civic groups, and other professionals to help the community--and especially the children--learn about the importance of good water quality, stream health, and biodiversity.
Funding and Partners of DROP
This project is funded in part by Saturn Corporation, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, under an agreement with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Nonpoint Source Program, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Assistance Agreement #C3334674-03-0, and the Tennessee Environmental Endowment.
Partners include Saturn, US Geological Survey (USGS), Natural Resources Conservation Service, Maury County Soil Conservation District, TVA, Earth Force, and River Network.
The Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association is a non-profit, all-volunteer group whose mission is to protect the streams, waters, and watersheds of the region and to promote paddle sport recreation and safety.
Look at us in action!
Volunteers Help Restore 2,000 Feet of Stream Bank in Spring Hill
On two crisp and cool days in November and December of 2008, a total of 82 volunteers gathered to plant trees on the banks of McCutcheon Creek off Highway 396 in Spring Hill at the Saturn Parkway/Kedron Road exit. The young and young at heart came together to make a difference in the water quality of McCutcheon Creek for the sake of our environment and public health.
This area will eventually become a roadside park. McCutcheon Creek is part of the Duck River/Rutherford Creek watershed. McCutcheon Creek is listed on TDEC’s impaired streams list (303d list). The Tennessee Environmental Council is working with the city of Spring Hill to help clean up their streams and tributaries in one of the most biologically diverse watersheds in the United States: the Duck River Watershed.
The restoration efforts were made possible by many volunteers who offered a helping hand, and because of the generous support of grant dollars and contributions from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, REI, GM Spring Hill, Wyngate Estates, the City of Spring Hill, committed TEC & Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association member contributions. Thank you for your generous support in 2008. Help us continue our work in 2009 by volunteering your time, talents, and generous contributions!
--Kyle Duvall, TN Environmental Council
Restoration Work and Tree Planting
Come help us grow! Without the volunteer efforts of the community, DROP would never be as successful as it is. Bring the whole family, your scouting troop, a class of students, or just come by yourself. You'll immediately see your accomplishments and experience incredible pride at every single event. Contact us now to schedule time to volunteer!
To sign up for restoration work and tree planting, please contact Kyle Duvall at 615-414-3287
All dates subject to change so please contact us if you’re planning to come!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is nonpoint source pollution?
Nonpoint source pollution is basically polluted runoff. When it rains, water builds up on the ground and eventually washes away--along with all of the chemicals, soaps, pesticides, and roadway oils and garbage that happen to be in the grass, sand, roadways, and farmland. In time, all of this polluted runoff makes its way into the waterways.
To read more about nonpoint source pollution, go to this site sponsored by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture: http://www.tennessee.gov/agriculture/water/nps.html
2. How is nonpoint source pollution different from point source pollution?
While nonpoint source pollution comes from unspecified sources, point source pollution comes from well known and designated sources, such as industrial plants or sewage treatment plants. Though progress has been made regarding the clean-up of point source pollution sites, many waterways are still under serious threat of polluted runoff. The disastrous aftermath of such point source pollution was recently witnessed by the entire country when a retaining wall broke at a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) coal-fired power plant, releasing 5.4 million cubic yards of toxic sludge into Tennessee's ecosystem and waterways. In one day, the sludge destroyed homes, property values, and for many, a way of life.
To read more about the coal ash spill at the Tennessee Kingston Fossill Plant and to see a NASA Earth Observatory image of how this point source pollution spill will quickly impact waterways across Tennessee, go to this site:
3. Where can I go to learn more about the programs dedicated to protecting and improving Tennessee's water quality?
You can visit the official Web site for The State of Tennessee's Department of Environment and Conservation at: http://www.state.tn.us/environment/water.shtml
4. I am scheduled to assist TSRA monitor water quality. Where can I download the special forms necessary for documenting my work?
Click here to download the Duck River Opportunities Project Data forms :
5. How can I submit my water quality data to the Global Rivers Environmental Education Network (GREEN)?
Go to http://www.green.org/ to submit your data and to keep current on national issues regarding the environment.