UT Helps State Communities Restore Damaged Waterways (228)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — While spring flood waters are receding, damage from erosion, pollution and other sources will not disappear as quickly, a University of Tennessee water quality specialist said Friday.

 Tim Gangaware said UT-Knoxville’s Urban Watershed Restoration Project can help Tennessee communities restore rivers and streams damaged by floods, agriculture, construction, and other causes.

 “We will show communities the best approach to take to restore rivers and streams, and techniques to assess problems so they can move forward in fixing them,” Gangaware said.

 “The project addresses mostly smaller streams and rivers that are badly degraded from a standpoint of water quality, severe bank erosion and loss of habitat.”

Damaged waterways affect human health, wildlife and property, said Gangaware, who heads UT-Knoxville’s Water Resources Research Center.

 The Watershed project is a three-year program that includes workshops, manuals and on-site training scheduled to begin this fall, he said.

 It also includes a Water Education for Teachers in Tennessee (WETT) curriculum to help teachers create educational activities about water-quality issues.

 Gangaware said the Art Department and the Innovative Technologies Center at UT-Knoxville are developing a CD-ROM program that will enable students to create computer models of watershed problems in their own communities.

 The project is funded by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Non-Point Source Program, which was formed under the U.S. Clean Water Act of 1990.

 For more information, call UT’s WRRC at (423) 974-2151.

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 Contact: Tim Gangaware (423-974-4777)