The Little Tennessee Watershed Association has received a $75,000 grant to help restore migration for aquatic species.
Two years ago, a study of creeks feeding the Little Tennessee River found several places where road crossings inhibited up and downstream movement by organisms. Roads across the creeks were acting as dams, either due to collapsed culverts or culverts not properly conveying the water in the stream.
The grant will come from U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, thanks to federal stimulus money. The Little Tennessee River is a priority area for the Fish and Wildlife Service due to the presence of federally endangered species. The threatened spotfin chub is among the fish species whose migration each fall from the Little Tennessee into tributaries is being inhibited.
Grants were also awarded to the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy and the Blue Ridge Resource Conservation and Development Council for the French Broad River watershed and the Upper Nolichucky River watershed.
“These grants will help local organizations and local people accomplish what really are some tremendous on-the-ground conservation projects,” said Fish & Wildlife Service biologist Anita Goetz.