Cumberland River in Granville
ADOPTED BY: Wildwood Resort and Marina
The blue line in the map below represents the adopted section of the Cumberland River. The purple boundary in the map below outlines this adopted section's watershed. When it rains, water that falls within this boundary eventually finds its way to the waterway. The quality of water in the waterway is directly connected to the condition of the land within this purple drainage boundary. Any stewardship activities you do within these purple watershed boundaries will improve the condition of your waterway.
In a watershed with increasing development pressure, stewards like you are a valuable resource for your community. The Center for Watershed Protection has found that watershed's with over 10% impervious surface (e.g. parking lots, roads, buildings, etc.) experience water quality impacts. In addition, impervious surfaces cause flooding.
Conversely, forested and vegetated areas of your watershed provide valuable services as "green infrastructure." They filter pollutants and act as a sponge, soaking up rainwater, rather than sending it rushing into the river, where increased velocity and volume can cause erosion and flooding. Green infrastructure is most beneficial along a waterway's banks (100' or more) and on steep slopes.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
There are many things you can do to help the river. We've got some ideas and resources below, but don't be limited to these alone. If you've got questions or ideas for other activities, feel free to contact the Cumberland River Compact at 615-837-1151. If you need to recruit additional volunteers, the Cumberland River Compact can also help you promote your stewardship event.
Schedule a walk/cleanup.
There's no better way to get to know the river, than by visiting it in person. Whether your boating, or walking alongside it, you'll end up with a much better sense of where it's healthy and where it's hurting if you pay it a visit. Consider combining a cleanup with a scouting effort. While your picking up trash, photograph or record the locations of destabilized banks, needed riverside vegetation, invasive species or other potential water quality concerns. Resources include:
Become a Certified "Clean Marina"
The Clean Marina Program is a voluntary program facilitated by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with the support of the Cumberland River Compact and other area partners. The program promotes environmentally responsible marina and boating practices. This program helps marina operators protect clean water by reducing water pollution and erosion and provides incentives to creative and proactive marina operators for doing so.
- Contact the Corps' Cordell Lake Resource Manager's Office: 615-735-1034 and/or the Cumberland River Compact.
Allow for natural growth near your waterway.
If you live or work next to a waterway, leave a 35′ to 100′ no mow zone on its banks. Allow natural and native plant growth in this buffer area or plant native trees, bushes, and groundcover. Natives require less watering and fertilizer. This vegetation can filter pollutants before they reach our waterways and provide other water quality benefits that far exceed those of a mowed lawn. Resources include:
If you can't do a planting, consider distributing free trees and educational information to the public somewhere in your adopted segment's watershed. Resources include:
- Free Trees for TEC's Statewide 250K Tree Day - TN Environmental Council (615.248.6500)
- Tennessee Aquatic Stream Clean Up and Riparian Tree Grant (Scroll to bottom of linked page for more info) - TN Wildlife Resources Agency
- Purchase Native Wildflower/Grass Alternatives to Mowed Grass - Roundstone Native Seed and/or Seedland
- General Guidelines for Volunteer Based Riparian Buffer Plantings - TN Environmental Council
- Improving Stream Channels With Live Staking - UT Extension
- Tennessee Urban Riparian Buffer Handbook - TN Dept. of Agriculture
- Landscaping with Native Plants in Middle TN - TN Wildlife Resources Agency
- Native Plants for TN - UT Extension
This stewardship activity will prevent pollutants from reaching your waterway, restore habitat, reduce erosion, and mitigate the impacts of flooding.
Improve Access to the River
A surefire way to get the community to care about your waterway is to improve access to it. Cleaning up trash at access points or along greenways near the river will help others enjoy the resource. Groups in the region may be able to work with you to build a public access point if there is an appropriate site for one.
Observe species and/or organize a "Bioblitz" in your watershed.
Work with the Cumberland River Compact and use the mobile app iNaturalist to collect species data in your watershed. You can also schedule a bioblitz, where your group observes and records species over a set time period of time, gaining insight into the many flora and fauna that rely on water within your adopted watershed. All you need is a phone! When you make iNaturalist observations, these observations can become independently verified as "research-quality data" and can contribute to the larger scientific community.
Use agricultural best management practices on pastureland.
Excluding farm animals from waterways and providing them with alternative sources of water can prevent these animals from trampling important river-side vegetation and defecating in places that will wash into the river.
- NRCS offers a number of programs that can provide technical or financial assistance to landowners interested in employing agricultural best management practices. Potential programs may include: the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, Conservation Stewardship Program, Conservation Technical Assistance Program, and Environmental Quality Incentives Program.
- Agricultural Resources Conservation Fund - TN Department of Agriculture
- Water Quality Best Management Practices Calendar - UT Extension
This stewardship activity will prevent pollutants from reaching your waterway and reduce erosion.
Pick up after pets.
Pick up after your pet when s/he is on a walk, at the dog park, or in your own backyard. Dispose of this waste in the trash or toilet. Many pet stores and retailers sell biodegradable bags for picking up waste. Some companies in the region offer pet waste removal services. You can also start a pet education campaign in your neighborhood, petition your city to provide a bag station along a popular walkway and help keep it stocked with bags, or distribute biodegradable pet waste bags elsewhere in the watershed. Resources include:
- Free Biodegradable Pet Waste Bags - Cumberland River Compact (615-837-1151)
- Many local pet stores sell biodegradable pet waste bags. Online options include: Earth Rated Green Dog Poop Bags; Pogi’s Earth Friendly Poop Bags; BioBag Dog; Flush Puppies Doodie Bags.
- Companies in the region that offer pet waste removal services include Poop Control and O'Bryan's Pet Waste Removal.
- Pet Waste Education Campaign - How-to-Guide
This stewardship activity will prevent pollutants from impacting your waterway.
Reduce paved/impervious surfaces.
Impervious or impermeable surfaces, like pavement, contribute significantly to polluted stormwater runoff and erosion. If you've got excess pavement you'd like removed, consider a de-paving project with the Compact. Elsewhere, ensure that your downspouts drain to vegetation, gravel, or rainbarrels, rather than impervious surfaces. If you constructing or repairing your driveway, pervious pavement allows stormwater to infiltrate and filter through the ground. If you can’t do the whole drive, consider making only the portion closest to the street pervious. Resources include:
- De-paving Work - Cumberland River Compact (Call 615-837-1151)
- Rain Barrel Sales - Cumberland River Compact
- Rain Barrels Make Good Sense - UT Extension
This stewardship activity will prevent pollutants from reaching your waterway, restore in-river habitat (by reducing flow velocity), reduce erosion, and mitigate the impacts of flooding.
Organize with others in your community. Make your voices heard and your votes count.
Participate in community planning efforts and advocate for relevant measures that improve or protect water quality. Write to your elected official or to the media and let them know this is a concern or invite them to speak about the impairment with your home-owners association. When elections come up, vote for candidates who will address the problem and hold them accountable to their promises. Support local watershed / environmental associations. Resources include:
- Advocacy Toolkit - TN Environmental Council
- Find Your Legislators - Federal Legislators; State Legislators
- Citizen Action Guide to Watershed Assessment and Restoration - TN Environmental Council
- Area watershed associations include the Cumberland River Compact.
Spread the word.
Do your neighbors, family, or roommates know about what's going on in your waterway? Now that you know how to be an effective steward, enlist the help of others in your neighborhood. Share iCreek or resources within it with your neighbors and encourage them to join the effort to protect your waterway.