Holly Creek Watershed
The Holly Creek Watershed (see map below) is known for its tremendous biodiversity especially along mainstem Holly Creek upstream of Chatsworth. As a result, several groups continue to work together to protect and improve this valuable resource. Limestone Valley’s most direct efforts to improve the Holly Creek Watershed began in 2013 when a Clean Water Act Section 319 grant was awarded to Limestone Valley to focus attention on improving the water quality in the watershed. This initial grant was focused around extensive water quality sampling efforts, an investigation into the sources of nonpoint source pollutants, extensive watershed mapping, and most importantly, the development of a Watershed Management Plan (WMP). The purpose of the WMP was to define a method to improve the water quality as well as prevent further degradation within the watershed, that can be implemented through “on-the-ground” efforts within the watershed to improve water quality. Another aspect of the project was for Limestone Valley to lead a stakeholder process to ensure community support when the WMP is implemented. The WMP (attached below) has now been written by Limestone Valley and approved by a local stakeholder group, as well Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA EPD), and the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA).
Now that the watershed management plan has been completed, Limestone Valley has begun work on a proposal to fund implementation of this plan including “on-the-ground” efforts to improve water quality in the watershed. This proposal will request funds to provide financial assistance for repairs on failing septic systems, agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs), a streambank stabilization project, and a stormwater project, most likely a rain garden, in the general Chatsworth area. The septic system repair and agricultural BMP efforts would be greatly assisted by the North Georgia Health District and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), respectively. Assistance on the streambank stabilization project and the rain garden will be determined at a later date. We are also investigating locations and partners for potential streambank stabilization efforts. A student intern would likely be assisting with water quality sampling, among other things. We also plan to conduct some fish sampling for the impacted biota impairments because to our knowledge they have not been sampled in fifteen years. Additionally, assuming we are awarded the grant we will be conducting outreach including annual stream cleanups and other volunteer activities including riparian tree planting events.
If you live in the watershed and have an interest in cost-shares for agricultural best management practices (BMPs), streambank stabilization, or septic system repairs that are likely to improve water quality, please contact us. In addition, if you live in the watershed and have an interest in conducting water quality sampling through the Georgia Adopt-A-Stream program, participating in stream cleanup events via canoe or on foot, or having trees planted along the creeks on your property, please let us know. As always, we will continue to attempt to find more locations to potentially conduct tree planting events along streams in the watershed in the future.
The map above shows the Holly Creek Watershed within Murray County, Georgia.
Limestone Valley Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Council, the Catoosa County 4H Club and Georgia Rivers Alive are putting on a volunteer stream cleanup event as part of an effort to improve the South Chickamauga Creek Watershed. The event will start at 10:00 am and last until around 12:00 pm on Tuesday, October 11th. The Ringgold City Park which is located along South Chickamauga Creek will serve as the central location for the event. Rivers Alive T-shirts will be available for More >