The Upper Tennessee River Mussel Recovery Group recently completed a new 10-year strategic plan for increasing populations of rare mussel species in two critical sections of the Clinch-Powell River system. Thriving freshwater mussel populations are the foundation of a clean and healthy river system. The work to restore these populations has important benefits for people and nature. A copy of the plan can be found here.
A new $100K restoration effort to increase populations of native freshwater mussels in the Powell River system is now officially underway following the first mussel release, which took place on October 6. Students from Lincoln Memorial University helped with the first mussel release. The program is being led by The Nature Conservancy and funded by The Tennessee Valley Authority, with additional assistance provided by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and Virginia Tech University. More information on the project can be found at the following links:
Nature Conservancy Media Release — http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/virginia/newsroom/new-effort-underway-to-increase-native-mussel-populations-in-virginia-and-te.xml
WBIR-Knoxville Television — http://www.wbir.com/news/local/mussels-released-to-help-grow-population/329713059
Knoxville News Sentinel — http://archive.knoxnews.com/news/local/the-powell-river-in-tazewell-tenn-gets-infusion-of-freshwater-mussels-in-restoration-effort-3e337426-396226791.html?d=mobile
Thirty-one volunteers recently spent most of a day cleaning up the
Clinch River behind the Richlands Tabernacle and the Richlands Christian Academy in preparation for a stream bank stabilization
project. The number one item found was tires, with 349 being dragged out of the river by volunteers with assistance from three trucks with wenches.
Volunteers also picked up 92 pieces of old metal, including a vehicle hood. The cleanup resulted in volunteers finding and removing 69
pieces of construction materials, such as wood and cinder blocks. An assortment of other litter was removed, such as beverage bottles and cans and assorted pieces of plastic and paper. The most unusual item found was the center of an old wooden wagon wheel.
The cleanup was a project of Upper Tennessee River Roundtable and Keep Southwest Virginia Beautiful with USFWS Partners for Fish and Wildlife, Richlands Tabernacle, Stewards of the Clinch, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and Clean Virginia Waterways. Supplies were furnished by TVA and Clean Virginia Waterways. The cleanup served as part of the International Coastal Cleanup, which is coordinated in Virginia by Clean Virginia Waterways and locally by Upper Tennessee River Roundtable and Keep Southwest Virginia Beautiful. As part of that large cleanup effort, volunteers filled out data cards to count each item picked up. This data will be compiled by Clean Virginia Waterways with other cleanup results in order to categorize the top 10 littered items in Virginia as well as the total tonnage collected statewide.
Richlands Tabernacle prepared a home cooked lunch for all of the volunteers, some traveling from Dickenson and Wise counties to help with the cleanup, which is known as a regional stream cleanup for Keep Southwest Virginia Beautiful. The Dickenson, Wise and Tazewell folks are members of Keep Southwest Virginia Beautiful, which is the largest regional Keep America Beautiful affiliate in the nation.
Upper Tennessee River Roundtable and Partners for Fish and Wildlife will begin a stream project at the site in the near future to stabilize the stream banks and plant trees.
Upper Tennessee River Roundtable is a regional watershed nonprofit that focuses on the Cilnch, Powell and Holston rivers in Virginia that comprise the upper Tennessee River Basin in Virginia.
For more information, contact the Roundtable at 276-628-1600 or visit the website at www.uppertnriver.org.