Zimmerman BEFORE looking upstream

Beaverdam Project


Watauga River Partners a recipient of 319 Non-Point Source Pollution Control funding

BOONE, NC – SEPT. 11, 2012 –Watauga River Partners, a nonprofit environmental organization based out of Boone, N.C., has received a grant from the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources to develop a watershed rehabilitation plan for Beaverdam Creek, located in the western Watauga County community of Bethel.

The North Carolina Department of Environmental and Natural Resources allocated $247,500 in 319 Non-Point Source Pollution Control funding to Beaverdam Creek because of water quality concerns. AlthoughBeaverdam Creek flows through a picturesque landscape, the stream itself has been listed as “impaired” by theNorth Carolina Division of Water Quality. The presence of several pollutants, such as biological pollutants,sediment, or high water temperatures, could be the cause of the “impaired” designation. Impaired water qualityfrom sediment, runoff and thermal pollution not only affects Beaverdam Creek, but also the overall water qualityof the Watauga River because Beaverdam Creek is a headwater stream. Developing a plan to remedy theseimpacts is important to water quality in the Watauga River basin.

Funding for the Beaverdam Creek Watershed Restoration Project will be used to help landowners preventland loss, improve drinking water and fish habitats, and implement best management practices for their farms.

Watauga River Partners is providing financial assistance to residents who own land along BeaverdamCreek or its tributaries and are willing to share costs, labor and equipment. The funding may be used for plantsalong creek banks, rain gardens, alternate watering and feeding approaches, cattle crossings and fencing, andother approved alternatives.

“This is a great opportunity for landowners to not only improve their property, but to insure the WataugaRiver remains a vital, healthy waterway for fishing, habitat and drinking water,” Kristan Cockerill, projectmanager for the Beaverdam Creek Watershed Restoration Project, said.

Watauga River Partners is working with Watauga County Cooperative Extension and North CarolinaDivision of Soil and Water Conservation to install projects in the Beaverdam community. Brushy ForkEnvironmental Consulting, Inc., Appalachian State University Department of Chemistry, and the N.C. Wildlife Commission are also assisting.

About the Watauga River Partners

The Watauga River Partners formed in 1999 as a chapter of the Western North Carolina Alliance inresponse to the growing pressures on the water quality of the Watauga River and its tributaries. The purpose ofthe organization is to educate the community about the Watauga River and to promote conservation andrehabilitation of the river. Watuaga River Partners’ efforts to protect the Watauga River serve communities alongthe 60-mile stretch of river. The Watauga River is perhaps the most outstanding natural resource of the NorthCarolina High Country, where it is a center for outdoor recreation, a site of scientific research, a fragileecosystem that is home to endangered species of aquatic life, a source of high-quality water, and a contributor tolocal and regional economies.

For additional information about the Watauga River Partners or to participate in the Beaverdam CreekRestoration Project, contact Ashley Wilson at 828-278-9660 or ashley@wataugariverpartners.org.