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Water: Nonpoint Source Success Stories



A New Era for the West Sandy Creek Watershed -
Tennessee Works with Landowners to Reduce Erosion

In response to a history of water quality problems in the western embayments of Kentucky Lake Reservoir, the Tennessee Nonpoint Source Program contracted with Austin Peay State University Center for Field Biology to work with landowners to reduce erosion in the West Sandy Creek Watershed. This project has involved multiple state, federal, and local agencies in the Henry County area near Paris, Tennessee (about 70 miles west-northwest of Nashville).

A total of 73 agricultural best management practices (BMPs) have been implemented in West Sandy Creek. For example, 95 percent of the land used for row crop agriculture is under no-till BMPs, and numerous roadside BMPs have been installed in cooperation with the Henry County Road Commission. Over the past five years, more than 20 in- stream BMP structures have been installed to enrich biotic habitat and reduce sediment and organic particulates.

Water quality data indicate a significant improvement in water quality since BMP installations. In-stream structures include log and rock wing deflector weirs and artificial riffle systems.

Educational forums and demonstration projects have been stressed in all project activities. Each year, several public meetings, workshops, and field days are offered to raise public awareness and provide hands-on experience for interested residents and professionals in the West Sandy Creek watershed and surrounding areas.

CONTACT: Greg Upham
Nonpoint Source Program Tennessee Department of Agriculture
(615) 360-0690

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