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2018 Newsletter

Limestone Valley RC&D Council current and ongoing grants

 

  • National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) related grants

 

Rural Development Grant – Completed April 2018. 25 Total Audits Completed.

  • This grant helps applicants with energy audits for their poultry operations. The energy audit completed for the operations will show the producers the potential energy and cost savings for each energy efficiency upgrade recommended for their farm. The completed audit makes them eligible to apply for energy efficiency implementation funding through the USDA Rural Development Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) as well as through the NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

NRCS Outreach Grant (18 Counties in Northwest GA):

  • This project seeks to increase awareness of NRCS’s conservation programs and enhance program delivery by highlighting successful conservation projects and developing new outreach tools.
  • Numerous success stories will be written to document local USDA projects.

Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCCP) Initiative Grant (Northwest GA):

  • This project seeks to increase funding for energy efficiency audits and energy efficiency improvements/implementations on poultry farms.

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) grant –

  • Grant will be used to hire an Aquatic Conservation Field Coordinator for the Conasauga River Watershed.

Salacoa Watershed Management Plan

  • This watershed management plan will be used to apply for 319 Clean Water Act and National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI) grants for the Salacoa watershed.
  • EPD 319 Grants

 

  • South Chickamauga Creek 319 Project Phase 1 – Finished grant Aug. 2017
    • 54 Septic Repairs
    • 5 Agricultural Best Management Practices Projects – ex. fencing, watering troughs, and Heavy Use Areas (HUA)
    • 6 Outreach Events (Tree plantings, Rivers Alive Stream Clean-ups, Adopt a Stream workshops)
    • 1 Year of water quality monitoring (septic)
  • South Chickamauga Creek 319 Project Phase II – Started in August 2017 – August 2020.
    • 6 Septic Repairs
    • 1 Agricultural Best Management Practices Projects – ex. fencing, watering troughs, and Heavy Use Areas (HUA)
    • 1Outreach Events (Tree plantings, Rivers Alive Stream Clean-ups, Adopt a Stream workshops)
    • 1 Green Infrastructure Project in the City of Ringgold
    • 1 Year of water quality monitoring 2019 (septic)
    • Fish Sampling with Dr. Mark Schorr from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
  • Lookout Creek 319 Project Started July 2017-July 2020.
    • 2 Septic Repairs
    • 1 Agricultural Best Management Practices Projects
    • 5 Outreach Events (Tree plantings, Rivers Alive Stream Clean-ups, Adopt a Stream workshops)
    • 1 Stream Stabilization Project with Fox Environmental in the City of Trenton.
    • Fish Sampling with Dr. Mark Schorr from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
    • 1 Year of water quality monitoring 2019 (septic)
  • Coahulla Creek 319 Project – Finishes in August 2018
    • 24 Septic Repairs
    • 1 Agricultural Best Management Practices Projects
    • 5 Outreach Events (Tree plantings, Rivers Alive Stream Clean-ups, Adopt a Stream workshops)
    • 1 Stream Stabilization Project with Goodwin, Mills and Cawood in the City of Dalton.
    • 1 Year of water quality monitoring completed 2017.
  • Upper Oostanaula and Snake Creek 319 Project October 2016 – Oct. 2019
    • 15 Septic Repairs
    • 2 Agricultural Best Management Practices Projects
    • 1 Outreach Event (Tree plantings, Rivers Alive Stream Clean-ups, Adopt a Stream workshops)
    • 2 Nutrient Management Plans for Poultry Farms
    • 1 Year of water quality monitoring 2018 (septic)
  • Holly Creek 319 Project – Begins Summer 2018
    • Septic Repairs
    • Agricultural Best Management Practices Projects
    • Outreach Events (Tree plantings, Rivers Alive Stream Clean-ups, Adopt a Stream workshops)
    • Stream Stabilization Project
    • Green Infrastructure Project
    • Fish Sampling with Dr. Mark Schorr from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
    • 1 Year of water quality monitoring 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Join us at the 21st Annual Conasauga River Watershed Clean-up!

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Limestone Valley Update for August of 2015…

Greetings Council Members and Partners:

 

We thought we would take the time to update you all on what has been happening since our last meeting.  We have had a busy summer, and wanted to get you up to date before our annual Christmas lunch meeting at the Gordon County Agricultural Center on Thursday December 3rd, at 11 am…

 

319 Grants Update

 

For the South Chickamauga Headwaters (Catoosa Co.) Project: 

  • Financial assistance has so far been provided for a total of 49 repairs with the current grant, and at this point the funds are limited. We’ll try to assist with approximately 20 more repairs.
  • Site visits have recently been conducted with NRCS on 12 farms to discuss BMP projects to improve water quality and on-farm operations. Planning efforts continue.
  • Another successful H20 Camp was completed in early summer with Catoosa County 4H Club. The two day camp included both a canoe cleanup float trip down South Chick Creek and an Adopt-A-Stream macroinvertebrate monitoring workshop.
  • Targeted water quality monitoring efforts were completed in June.
  • Potential sites along creeks to plant bare root seedlings this winter are currently being investigated in the watershed.
  • A proposal will be submitted in October 2015 seeking to again fund this project.

 

For the Coahulla Creek Watershed (Whitfield Co.) Project:

  • The 319 grant to implement the Coahulla Creek Watershed Management Plan began in May.
  • This grant will fund septic system repair cost-shares, agricultural BMPs, streambank stabilization efforts, and fish and water quality monitoring.
  • Fish were sampled in late July in Haig Mill Creek and Mill Creek to determine whether biotic assemblages and habitats have improved since the creeks were listed as impaired in 2001.
  • Financial assistance is already planned to assist six local families with repairs on their failing septic systems. More repairs will follow.
  • Potential sites for streambank stabilization are being investigated.

 

For the Lookout Creek Watershed (Dade Co.) and Upper Oostanaula Watershed (Gordon Co.) Projects:

  • These grants will likely begin in late 2015 or early 2016 and fund septic repair cost-shares, agricultural BMPs, and practices including streambank stabilization, stormwater practices, and nutrient management.

 

For the Holly Creek Watershed (Murray Co.) Project:

  • A proposal will be submitted in October 2015 seeking to fund the first on-the-ground 319 implementation grant for this project.

 

Other Projects

 

Proposed NRCS Conservation Innovation Project (Northwest GA): 

  • This proposed project seeks to provide cost-share assistance for rainwater collection and conventional water storage to supplement cool cell systems in poultry houses.
  • News about whether this project will be funded this year is due at the beginning of September.

 

Proposed NRCS Outreach Grant (Northwest GA): 

  • This proposed project seeks to increase awareness of NRCS’s conservation programs and enhance program delivery by highlighting successful conservation projects and developing new outreach tools.
  • This process appears to be in the process of being funded as proposed. The project will likely begin in October.

 

Proposed RCCP Initiative (Northwest GA): 

  • This proposed project seeks to increase funding for energy efficiency audits and energy efficiency improvements on poultry farms.
  • News about whether the pre-proposal ranks high enough to merit a full proposal will be available soon.

 

No-Till Update for Catoosa County

 

Fiscal Year 2015 is near the end for the No-Till Rental Program and marks the best year overall to date.  Coming after a year with over 3,500 acres planted in our operating area, this marks the 2nd great year in a row for the program.  As always, thanks is in order to David Matteson for his help with repairing and servicing the drills.  Below you will find a summary of the acres planted so far.

 

Catoosa County Soil and Water – FY2015 Summary Acres
Catoosa County Benton Coal and Supply 252
Coosa River Soil and Water – FY2015 Summary
Chattooga County D&E Hardware 854.4
Gordon County Mike Rice 970.4
Walker County Young Farmers 930
Subtotal 2,754.8
Limestone Valley Soil and Water – FY2015 Summary
Whitfield County Dycus 1709.6
Murray County Brad Ridley 255
Subtotal 1,334.6
Total Acres FY 2015 4,341.4

 

Limestone Valley Update from April of 2015…

Greetings Council Members and Partners:

 

We thought we would take the time to update you all on what has been happening since our last meeting.  We have had a busy winter and spring, and wanted to get you up to date before our upcoming meeting at Prater’s Mill on May 14th at 11 am…

 

319 Grants Update

 

For the South Chickamauga Headwaters (Catoosa Co.) Project: 

  • We worked to provide financial assistance to approx. ten more local residents for repairs on failing septic systems.
  • Marketing efforts have led to meetings with several farmers to discuss BMP projects to improve water quality.
  • Water quality monitoring efforts continued.

 

For the Holly Creek Watershed (Murray Co.) Project:

  • The grant to develop a watershed management plan for the Holly Creek Watershed ended on March 31st.
  • The final draft of the plan will soon be completed.
  • The close-out report will be submitted by the end of May.

 

For the Coahulla Creek Watershed (Whitfield Co.) Project:

  • The 319 grant to implement the Coahulla Creek Watershed Management Plan is slated to begin at any time.
  • This grant will fund septic system repair cost-shares, agricultural BMPs, and streambank stabilization efforts.

 

For the Lookout Creek Watershed (Dade Co.) and Upper Oostanaula Watershed (Gordon Co.) Projects:

  • These grants were completed on October 31st, 2014.
  • We submitted proposals to implement the plans.
  • We recently got word that both proposals will be awarded and begin in late 2015 or early 2016.
  • These grants will fund septic repair cost-shares, agricultural BMPs, and practices including streambank stabilization, stormwater practices, and nutrient management.

 

No-Till Update

 

After a year with over 3,500 acres planted in our operating area, Fiscal Year 2015 is in full swing for the No-Till Rental Program.  As always, thanks is in order to David Matteson for his help with repairing and servicing the drills.  According to David, a great start to FY 2015 is underway with our custodians reporting a busy season.  Below you will find a summary of the acres planted so far.

 

 

Catoosa County Soil and Water – FY2015 Summary Acres
Catoosa County Benton Coal and Supply 245
Coosa River Soil and Water – FY2015 Summary
Chattooga County D&E Hardware 854.4
Gordon County Mike Rice 906
Walker County Young Farmers 930
Subtotal 2,690.4
Limestone Valley Soil and Water – FY2015 Summary
Whitfield County Dycus 1709.6
Murray County Brad Ridley 248
Subtotal 1,327.6
Total Acres FY 2015 4,263.0

 

Other News

 

NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant: 

  • We recently submitted a pre-proposal requesting funding for cost-shares on rainwater collection and storage systems to supplement cool cell systems in poultry houses in our 11 county area.
  • Having made the first cut, a full proposal has now been requested.
  • The proposal is due at the end of April. If awarded, the project would begin in late 2015.

 

Personnel Changes:

  • Long-time Watershed Program Manager Josh Smith has recently announced that he will be moving on from Limestone Valley. His last day is April 17th.  Josh has been with us a long time through a lot of changes, and has helped us continue to not only be relevant, but also prove we can succeed without direct Federal funding allocations.  While Josh will be difficult if not impossible to replace, we plan to bring on someone new in the near future to serve as a Watershed Project Assistant and assist us in our endeavors.

September 2014 Quarterly Newsletter…

Limestone Valley had a very busy summer.  We have done our best to describe the work that we have put in on several of our Clean Water Act Projects below:

For the South Chickamauga Headwaters Project: 

  • We worked to provide financial assistance to approximately ten more local residents for repairs on their failing septic systems.
  • Soon, letters will go out to farmers advertizing potential cost-shares on agricultural projects that aim to improve water quality.
  • In addition, we have started water quality sampling once a month at various sites within the watershed.  This effort is to last one year.

For the Coahulla Creek Watershed Project: 

  • We have now received official word that we will be awarded a grant to implement the Coahulla Creek Watershed Management Plan, which would likely start at some point in early 2015.
  • We are already meeting with the City of Dalton regarding a potential bank stabilization project along Mill Creek.
  • We also recently represented our efforts in the larger Conasauga River Watershed at a recent Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation meeting for Conasauga River Watershed stakeholders.

For the Lookout Creek Watershed Project:

  • The last of watershed stakeholder meetings was held.
  • The Watershed Management Plan draft was approved by the stakeholders.
  • We are currently planning an Adopt-A-Stream workshop with Dade County 4-H Club and a Rivers Alive Stream Cleanup focused on Lookout Creek at Sells Lane and Town Creek within Jenkins Park.
  • We have also begun work on a grant proposal aimed at getting implementation of the recently approved Watershed Management Plan funded.

 For the Upper Oostanaula Watershed Project:

  • We again sampled fecal coliform bacteria, turbidity, and several other water quality parameters at several sites within the watershed.
  • The Upper Oostanaula Watershed Management Plan draft was completed and will soon be sent out to stakeholders for approval.
  • The last of three watershed stakeholder meetings will soon be held to go over the plan and seek comments and approval.

For the Holly Creek Watershed Project:

  • We completed a year of sampling for fecal coliform bacteria and total suspended at various sites within the watershed.
  • Work continued on the Holly Creek Watershed Management Plan draft.
  • We also completed a Canoe Cleanup Float down the Conasauga River in late August.
  • We are currently planning the 20th Annual Conasauga Rivers Alive Cleanup.

March 2014 Quarterly Newsletter…

Limestone Valley had a very busy late winter and spring.  We have done our best to describe the work that we have put in on several of our Clean Water Act Projects below:

For the South Chickamauga Headwaters Project: 

  • All grant activities and reporting were completed, and we closed out the grant in January.  Overall, we completed six agricultural projects and more than twenty septic system repairs, more than double our repair goal for the current grant.
  • We are still awaiting an additional grant that was slated to begin in January 2014, but could start as late as mid-year, to fund additional agricultural projects, septic system repairs, and water quality monitoring.

For the Coahulla Creek Watershed Project: 

  • In October, we applied for an additional grant to implement the watershed management plan and fund water quality improvement projects.
  • It now appears there is a high likelihood that we will be awarded this grant, which would likely start at some point in early 2015.

For the Salacoa Creek Watershed Project: 

  • All grant activities and reporting were completed, and we closed out the grant in January. 
  • The Salacoa Creek Watershed Management Plan was submitted to the state and EPA for approval with the closeout report.

For the Lookout Creek Watershed Project:

  • We led a rainbarrel workshop with Dade County 4-H Club.
  • A volunteer tree planting event was also put together to improve the riparian zone along Lookout and Town Creeks. 
  • Work continued on the Lookout Creek Watershed Management Plan draft.
  • Additional water quality sampling was conducted.
  • The first of three watershed stakeholder meetings was held. 

For the Upper Oostanaula Watershed Project:

  • We again sampled fecal coliform bacteria, turbidity, and several other water quality parameters at several sites within the watershed. 
  • Work continued on the Upper Oostanaula Watershed Management Plan draft.
  • Additional partnerships integral to project success were developed.
  • The first of three watershed stakeholder meetings was held. 

For the Holly Creek Watershed Project:

  • We continued sampling for fecal coliform bacteria and total suspended at various sites within the watershed.
  • Work continued on the Holly Creek Watershed Management Plan draft.

 

Volunteer Tree Planting Event along Lookout Creek at Sitton’s Mill on Sells Lane

 Saturday, February 8th at 10:00 am

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Limestone Valley RC&D Council is leading a tree planting event to improve the vegetative buffer or riparian zone along Lookout Creek and complement a grant-funded effort to improve the water quality in the Lookout Creek Watershed.  Riparian zones along creeks are important for a number of reasons including increased streambank stability and filtration of pollutants, as well as improved water quality.

Along with Limestone Valley RC&D Council, members of Dade County 4-H, Georgia Forestry Commission, and Trenton Tree City will likely assist with the event.  300 white oaks, red oaks, persimmons, and dogwoods will be planted along the creek to improve the stability of the banks of Lookout Creek, as well as the local aesthetics near Sitton’s Mill.

Shovels and a few dibbles, specifically designed to plant trees, will be available for use by volunteers, although volunteers are encouraged to bring their own if possible.  The event will surely be cold so volunteers are reminded to dress warm.

 If you would like to sign up to plant trees as a volunteer,

 please contact Dan Huser of Limestone Valley RC&D Council at (423) 544-9076 or dhuser.lvrcd@gmail.com.

 

September 2013 Quarterly Newsletter…

 

Limestone Valley has had a busy summer.  We have done our best to describe the work that we have put in on several of our Clean Water Act Projects below:

For the South Chickamauga Headwaters Project: 

  • We disbursed cost-share portions to landowners for newly completed agricultural projects.
  • We worked with NRCS and the additional landowners on getting the other agricultural projects that we currently have contracted finished up.  Those that haven’t been finished are in the final stages.
  • We continued marketing for our septic system repair program and have now completed more than twenty septic system repairs, which doubles our goal for the current grant.  We completed cost-share reimbursements for all finished repairs.
  • We submitted a formal water quality report on our sampling endeavors within the watershed.
  • We await an additional grant to begin in January 2014 to fund additional agricultural projects, septic system repairs, and monitoring.

For the Coahulla Creek Watershed Project: 

  • We continued working on the Coahulla Creek Watershed Management Plan draft.
  • We have been involved in planning another Conasauga River Watershed Cleanup including sites on Coahulla and Mill Creeks of the Coahulla Creek Watershed.
  • We began planning a stormwater meeting to complement our stakeholder meeting process.

For the Salacoa Creek Watershed Project: 

  • We finished up a consecutive year of sampling each month for fecal coliform bacteria counts, TSS, and several other water quality parameters at several sites within the watershed.
  • We continued working on the Salacoa Creek Watershed Management Plan draft.
  • We continued recruiting watershed advisory members.
  • We held our second of four watershed advisory meetings.
  • We had a GIS intern complete several of the watershed mapping components of the grant.  We finished the additional mapping elements that were necessary for the project.

For the Lookout Creek Watershed Project:

  • We continued sampling fecal coliform bacteria, turbidity, and several other water quality parameters within the watershed at several sites. 
  • We continued working on the Lookout Creek Watershed Management Plan draft.
  • We began sampling macroinvertebrate assemblages within the watershed as part of our sampling efforts. 
  • We continued focusing on developing partnerships integral to project success.

For the Upper Oostanaula Watershed Project:

  • We continued sampling fecal coliform bacteria, turbidity, and several other water quality parameters at several sites within the watershed. 
  • We continued working on the Upper Oostanaula Watershed Management Plan draft.
  • We continued focusing on developing partnerships integral to project success.
  • We finished work on the GIS analysis portion of the grant. 

For the Holly Creek Watershed Project:

  • We completed and submitted a Targeted Water Quality Monitoring Plan detailing our planned water quality monitoring endeavors. 
  • We began sampling for fecal coliform bacteria and total suspended solids as detailed in the Targeted Water Quality Monitoring Plan at various sites in the watershed.
  • We have been involved planning another Conasauga River Watershed Cleanup including sites on Holly Creek of the Holly Creek Watershed.
  • We had a GIS intern complete several of the watershed mapping components of the grant.
  • We began working on a draft of the Holly Creek Watershed Management Plan.

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Limestone Valley Presentation at the South Chickamauga Creek Greenway Alliance Meeting 3/27/13…

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 JOIN US

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 27, 2013 AT NOON

Wally’s Restaurant, Ringgold Road, East Ridge

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The Clean Water Act (CWA), Section 319 Nonpoint Source Pollution Reduction Grants,

and their Application within the

South Chickamauga Creek Headwaters

 

Dan Huser and Joshua Smith

Limestone Valley Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Council

Watershed Program Managers for South Chickamauga Headwaters Watershed

Clean Water Act Section 319 Grants

 Come to learn about some basics of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and EPA CWA Section 319 Grants for nonpoint source pollution reduction, and how they apply to the South Chickamauga Headwaters.

 Also come hear the latest watershed and greenway updates. 

You are receiving this notice because you have expressed interest in the work of South Chickamauga Creek Greenway Alliance to conserve and enhance the South Chickamauga Creek watershed, its ecology, and its cultural amenities.  If you no longer wish to receive these notices, please call (423) 265-5229 or

e-mail sandykurtz@comcast.net.

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March 2013 Quarterly Newsletter…

Limestone Valley has been busier than ever in the last few months.  Here goes our attempt to describe what went on in relation to several of our Clean Water Act Projects….

For the South Chickamauga Headwaters Project: 

We conducted additional site visits with NRCS and completed five contracts with farm-owners for completion of best management practices on their properties.

  • The first of the agricultural BMP projects were completed “On-The-Ground”.
  • Cost-shares were reimbursed for completed agricultural BMP projects.
  • We continued marketing for our septic system repair program.
  • We completed several septic system repairs and completed cost-share reimbursements after the completion of the repairs.
  • We held a tree planting event along South Chickamauga Creek, in addition to a Rain-Barrel Workshop, and an Adopt-A-Stream Chemical Monitoring Workshop.
  • We published several newspaper articles and attended County Commission meetings in Catoosa and Whitfield Counties.

For the Coahulla Creek Watershed Project: 

  • We continued monthly sampling for fecal coliform bacteria counts and total suspended solids at eight sites within the watershed.
  • We continued working on the Coahulla Creek Watershed Management Plan draft.
  • We continued recruiting watershed advisory members.
  • We held the first of our Watershed Advisory Committee meetings.

For the Salacoa Creek Watershed Project: 

  • We continued sampling for fecal coliform bacteria counts, TSS, and several other parameters within the watershed at several sites.
  • We continued working on the Salacoa Creek Watershed Management Plan draft.
  • We continued recruiting watershed advisory members.
  • We held the first of our Watershed Advisory Committee meetings.
  • We met with Kennesaw State University and have arranged for a GIS intern to conduct the watershed mapping components of the grant.

 For the Lookout Creek Watershed Project:

  • We arranged for a student from University of Tennessee Chattanooga’s Environment Science Masters of Science Program to intern with a focus on the Lookout Creek Watershed Project.
  • We wrote and submitted a Targeted Water Quality Monitoring Plan to describe the sampling we are conducting as part of the Lookout Creek Watershed Project.
  • We began sampling at eight sites in the watershed for fecal coliform bacteria counts, turbidity, and several other parameters.
  • We began looking at historical sampling data.
  • We began working on the Lookout Creek Watershed Management Plan draft.
  • We began focusing on some of the partnerships most integral to project success.

For the Snake Creek Watershed Project:

  • We wrote and submitted a Targeted Water Quality Monitoring Plan to describe the sampling we are conducting as part of the Lookout Creek Watershed Project.
  • We began sampling at eight sites in the watershed for fecal coliform bacteria counts, turbidity, and several other parameters.
  • We started to look at historical sampling data and really investigate the watershed and sources of nonpoint source pollution.
  • We began working on the Snake Creek Watershed Management Plan draft.
  • We began focusing on some of the partnerships most integral to project success.

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