Strategic Stream Restoration in East TN

Nov 21, 2023

Tennessee Wildlife Federation’s Habitat Conservation team will soon be starting a new stream restoration project near Knoxville. The purpose of this project is to stabilize several eroding stream banks along 2,100 feet of Bullrun Creek in northern Knox County to improve water quality and wildlife habitat. 

“I’ve spent several years working to find the best plan of action to clean up my section of Bullrun Creek,” said Wilma Jordan, landowner of this project. “Repairing the creek will help resolve several growing problems in the surrounding environment. Tennessee Wildlife Federation has helped us navigate through the planning stages of this project and is making real progress toward getting our creek cleaned up.”

Funding for the project will come from two state grants—Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Stream and Wetland Restoration Grant and Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s 319 NPS Grant—which provide funding for restoration of impaired waterways in Tennessee. 

Bullrun Creek is an important tributary to Melton Hill Reservoir, which is one of two reservoirs supplying drinking water to residents of northern Knox County and parts of Union and Anderson counties. According to the 2022 Tennessee Clean Water Act report, more than 15 miles of Bullrun Creek are impaired due to excess sedimentation caused by eroding stream banks. 

“Every time we begin a new project, we think strategically about the location of the restoration and any potential impacts our work will have on the surrounding environment,” said Chris Roberts, director of conservation. “Stabilizing the stream banks on this property will not only improve the water quality, but will also improve aquatic habitat for wildlife. We will also be restoring the riparian buffer along the creek to improve wildlife habitat.”

Restoration is expected to be completed as early as winter 2024. As with all stream restoration projects, the property will continue to be monitored and managed for several years following completion of the project.

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