Watauga River Partners Receives Stream Conservation Grant for Beaverdam Creek


Published Monday, January 11, 2016 at 12:00 pm
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Beaverdam Creek in Western Watauga

Watauga River Partners, a chapter of Blue Ridge Conservancy, a non-profit based in Boone, NC has received a grant from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) to improve conditions on Beaverdam Creek in western Watauga County.

The group received $192,500 to assist landowners with stabilizing and planting creek banks, installing rain gardens, as well as providing alternate watering sources, fencing and cattle crossings. Landowners provide money, equipment, and/or labor as their contribution to the project.

The funding source is Section 319 of the Clean Water Act for nonpoint source water pollution control. This money is dedicated to improving streams that have been listed as impaired. Beaverdam Creek was listed as impaired in 2008 because of concerns about the creek’s ability to support fish and other aquatic life.  Beaverdam Creek is a headwaters creek, and therefore, conditions on Beaverdam Creek are important to the entire Watauga River watershed.

“Beaverdam Creek is actually in pretty good shape, but there are a places where creek banks could use some help to remain stable and provide better habitat for fish,” said Kristan Cockerill, project manager for the Beaverdam Project. “We are optimistic that this funding will help us move toward removing Beaverdam Creek from the impaired list,” Cockerill said.

This 2016 grant allows Watauga River Partners to continue work from a previous grant. The group received funding from NCDEQ in 2012 to develop a watershed rehabilitation plan for Beaverdam Creek and to implement conservation measures along the creek.

“We had great success working with landowners with the 2012 grant and there are more properties that could use our help, but we ran out of funding,” said Wendy Patoprsty, Watauga County Cooperative Extension agent and partner on the Beaverdam project. “We applied for this grant so that we could continue to help folks who wanted to protect the creeks on their property,” Patoprsty said.

The Beaverdam project represents a cooperative arrangement among Watauga River Partners, Watauga County Cooperative Extension, Watauga County Soil and Water Conservation District, Appalachian State University and Brushy Fork Environmental Consulting.

If you are a landowner on Beaverdam Creek or one of its tributaries and would like to participate in the Beaverdam Creek project, contact Brushy Fork Environmental Consulting (423-727-4476) or Wendy Patoprsty at Watauga County Extension (828 264-3061).

About the Watauga River Partners

Watauga River Partners formed in 1999 in response to growing pressures on the Watauga River and its tributaries. The organization’s mission is to provide information about rivers in general, and the Watauga River specifically, to residents of Watauga County and to promote river conservation. In 2015 the organization became a chapter of Blue Ridge Conservancy.

About Blue Ridge Conservancy

Blue Ridge Conservancy (BRC) is a private, non-profit, non-governmental organization incorporated in North Carolina. BRC has protected over 18,500 acres in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey Counties.  In addition to protecting working farmland, BRC’s efforts have resulted in the creation of state natural areas like Beech Creek Bog, Bear Paw State Natural Area and Bullhead Mountain. We continue to help Elk Knob State park expand its borders and established Pond Mountain Game Land in Ashe County.  More information about Blue Ridge Conservancy is available atwww.blueridgeconservancy.org.

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